More than Half of U.S. Prescribers Use Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit to Address Medication Affordability & Adherence

Increased adoption of Surescripts technology saves patients more than $40 per prescription and reduces administrative burdens and delays

ARLINGTON, Va. – June 14, 2022 – More than half of all prescribers in the United States (620,000) used Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit in May 2022, an increase of 7.5% since December 2021. Surescripts also processed 33% more prior authorizations and 34% more real-time benefit checks electronically between January and May 2022, compared to the same time period in 2021.

“The continued growth and expansion we’re seeing with Real-Time Prescription Benefit and Electronic Prior Authorization means more providers are gaining access to patient-specific prescription drug cost and coverage information at the point of care without the need for burdensome phone calls and faxes,” explained Andrew Mellin, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer of Surescripts. “And that in turn means more patients are getting timely access to the medication they need at a price they can afford.”

The recent expansion of Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit is driven by a number of electronic health records software vendors adopting the service and making it available to more of their users. In 2020, athenahealth went live on Real-Time Prescription Benefit. The company now has more than 60,000 users. CompuGroup Medical expanded their use of Real-Time Prescription Benefit in May 2022, making it available to 8,000 prescribers who use their CGM eMDs platform, in addition to the 3,600 prescribers using their APRIMA software. Similarly, Greenway Health made the service live with all of the 50,000 users in its network.

“With the rising cost of prescription drugs, physicians are seeking out ways to improve communication between pharmacies, provide better price transparency and make the delivery of medicine faster and more attainable,” said David Cohen, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Greenway Health. “Providing real-time out-of-pocket prescription costs during the patient visit has the potential to save valuable time and improve medication adherence—all of which contribute to a more engaging and effective healthcare experience.”

In March 2022, prescribers using Real-Time Prescription Benefit through their athenahealth software saved their patients an estimated $41.64 per prescription.

“One of the ways we can improve medication adherence is to help prescribers talk with their patients and consider both clinical and financial impacts of a medication before it’s prescribed,” said Dr. Nele Jessel, Chief Medical Officer of athenahealth. “Real-Time Prescription Benefit simplifies the process, helping prescribers make medication decisions with greater price transparency, all without leaving their e-prescribing workflow.”

Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit gives prescribers access to cost and coverage information directly from pharmacy benefit managers and health plans. With cost, coverage and prior authorization information in hand, prescribers can consider different days' supply and options on formulary that may be less expensive or don’t require prior authorizations that could delay treatment. As of May 2022, pharmacy benefit managers and health plans representing 97% of U.S. patients are contracted for the service.

Surescripts Electronic Prior Authorization lets healthcare professionals easily obtain prior authorizations in real time at the point of care. Surescripts delivers prior authorization insights, question sets and responses to help manage prospective and retrospective requests and get prescriptions filled faster. With the ability to connect to pharmacy benefit managers and health plans representing 98% of insured patients, more prescribers are using Surescripts to streamline workflows and reduce wait time for their patients.

“Our prescribers want tools to help enable greater visibility into prescription price information,” explained Dr. Eric Weidmann, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CompuGroup eMDs. “Real-Time Prescription Benefit and Electronic Prior Authorization are exactly the types of innovation they need to help improve workflows, enable simpler access to patient information and increase the efficiency of prescribing.”

Medication affordability and adherence are impacting patient care nationwide. In December 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that half of U.S. adults put off or skipped some sort of health care or dental care in the past year because of the cost. And according to a 2021 Gallup study, one in 20 U.S. adults reported that a friend or family member had died after not receiving treatment for a condition due to their inability to pay.

To learn more about how Surescripts prescription benefit intelligence is improving medication affordability and adherence and creating a better healthcare experience, please visit https://engage.surescripts.com/affordability.

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About Surescripts

Our purpose is to serve the nation through simpler, trusted health intelligence sharing, in order to increase patient safety, lower costs and improve the quality of care. At Surescripts, we align healthcare organizations across the nation and give healthcare professionals the trusted insights they need to serve patients. We convene the Surescripts Network Alliance® to enhance prescribing, better inform care decisions and advance healthcare as a whole. Visit us at surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.

Media Contact

Kelly Jeffers
Surescripts
(202) 215-1250
kelly.jeffers@surescripts.com

June 14, 2022 • 6 min read