Interim Study on e-Prescribing Holds First Hearing

State Rep. Schwartz and Chairman Enns held the first meeting of an interim study about electronic prescribing Tuesday (9/27/11).  The meeting was a semi-informal meeting with participation encouraged by intentionally not including a specific agenda.  The group heard from Pfizer, Integris Health, and a representative of independent pharmacists as speakers.  Much focus was about electronic prescribing as it relates to prior authorization.  More than one speaker spoke to the relationship of prior authorization to e-prescribing as not being at the top of the list of priorities at the moment.  Content also included actions of other states in setting goals – not mandates – for electronic prescribing by 2013 or later.  It was reported that as of 2009 about 90% of a combination of community and chain pharmacies are technologically prepared for e-prescribing and about 18% of providers had the capability – though with recent financial incentives, it is expected that those numbers would be higher at presently.  More than one speaker spoke to the importance of ensuring all medications are available to providers and patients, that incentives for drug selection outside of patient needs are not provided, and the potential of patient safety and time efficiencies be emphasized.  Also, concern about e-prescribing security was addressed in mention of the 2010 DEA rule about e-prescribing and controlled substances, stating that at present e-prescribing is secure and the ability to authenticate provider instructions has been addressed. 

Rep. Schwartz had authored HB1503 last Session (summary) related to electronic prescribing, but dropped the progress of that measure upon encountering wide interest and potential concern.

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