E-Prescribing To Grow As DEA Eases Regulation
The Wall Street Journal: "Doctors are increasingly prescribing medications electronically, abandoning the traditional paper scripts that can result in drug errors due to hard-to-read writing or coverage denials by a patient's insurer." E-prescribing tripled last year to 191 million according to the online prescribing leader Surescripts. One-quarter of physician practices now have the ability to e-prescribe. The number is also sure to grow now that the Drug Enforcement Administration has said it will allow doctors to prescribe narcotics, antidepressants and other controlled medicines electronically in the near future, a reversal compared with past policy.
"Doctors transmit e-prescriptions via a secured Internet network directly to pharmacies from their computers or hand-held devices. Nearly all chain drug stores and 62% of independent pharmacies now accept e-prescriptions that are uploaded directly to their computers. For medical practices, the cost of e-prescribing software and hardware, such as laptops, as well as training can range from about $1,000 to $1,750 per physician, according to software makers" (Martin, 4/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.