One More Benefit of the Movement Toward Digital Health Records
ALEXANDRIA, Va. and ST. PAUL, Minn. - Feb. 16, 2010 - Surescripts, The Nation's E-Prescription Network, today announced that it has lowered the cost of e-prescribing services used millions of times each day by physicians, pharmacists and payers nationwide. After six years of no price increases, the announcement illustrates how replacing a manual, paper-based process with health information
technology creates a more efficient and, ultimately, lower-cost means of providing care.
Surescripts operates the nation's largest e-prescription network and supports a rapidly expanding ecosystem of healthcare organizations nationwide. Surescripts was founded on the principles of neutrality, transparency, interoperability, education, collaboration and quality. Surescripts' e-prescribing services allow physicians to electronically send prescriptions from their offices to any of 52,000 retail pharmacies and six of the largest mail-order pharmacies. In addition, Surescripts provides physicians with electronic access to their patients' prescription benefit and prescription history, which helps to improve safety and enables doctors to prescribe medications with the lowest out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, Surescripts reduced what pharmacies, pharmacy vendors and pharmacy benefit managers pay for e-prescribing.
"Our decision to lower prices fulfills a public promise made when legacy SureScripts and RxHub were founded," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "Three things have enabled us to keep this promise: Surescripts' ongoing commitment to its own operational efficiency; the economies of scale
resulting from the merger; and Surescripts' success in working with healthcare organizations across the country to create and meet the growing demand for e-prescribing.
"And stay tuned - we are not done yet. With this price reduction, we are focused on the opportunity to connect even more physicians, pharmacies, payers and patients. As we add more participants to the network, this will continue to drive down the cost of e-prescribing, as our efficiency, scale and economics improve. As this occurs, we will again pass those savings along to the industry."
"The widespread adoption of e-prescribing is clearly the right thing for all of us to support," said Stanton McComb, president of McKesson Pharmacy Systems. "In these times, we are especially sensitive to the economic pressures that our customers are under. We recognize that most everyone wants to support eprescribing, but there is a real cost to doing so for pharmacies. MPS felt that it was important to support and extend Surescripts' price reductions as quickly as possible to our software customers to support this advancement in pharmacy care and also support our customers economically."
"Surescripts' overall efforts - which go well beyond operating a network and certifying software vendors - have helped create unprecedented demand for e-prescribing," said Bruce Roberts, RPh, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) executive vice president and CEO. "Today, nearly 25 percent of all U.S. office-based physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are now eprescribing. That accounts for more than 150,000 prescribers nationwide - more than double the number from one year ago. For community pharmacies, this growth not only lowers the cost of e-prescribing, but begins to realize the gains in efficiency that we all envisioned from the beginning."
Building The Network, Creating a Market for Paperless Prescriptions
In 2001, the nation's retail pharmacies and leading pharmacy benefit managers embarked on a shared vision - to create a national network to facilitate the secure transmission of prescription information between prescribers, pharmacies and health plans.
Today, PBMs and health plans providing prescription drug coverage for two-thirds of all Americans are active users of The Nation's E-Prescription Network. Together with 85 percent of all retail pharmacies and the nation's leading mail-order pharmacies, they have created the first and only network to allow an entire
segment of the nation's healthcare system - the $254 billion prescription care segment - to electronically share clinical health information on a nationwide basis. However, these organizations have gone far beyond building and electronically linking to a network.
With an eye toward safer, more efficient and lower-cost prescribing, these organizations have worked closely with the state governments, medical associations, technology vendors and various nongovernmental organizations focused on standards, health IT adoption, quality, privacy and security to create a sustainable market for e-prescribing. As a result, more than 150,000 (nearly 25 percent) of all U.S. office-based physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants use more than 200 types of eprescribing and electronic medical record (EMR) systems to e-prescribe today.
Surescripts operates the nation's largest e-prescription network and supports a rapidly expanding ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide. Surescripts was founded on the principles of neutrality, transparency, interoperability, efficiency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation's leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. Available during emergencies or routine care, the Nation's E-Prescription Network gives health care providers secure, low-cost, electronic access to prescription and health information that can save their patients' lives, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com.