eDoctor, Inc. Challenges “Growing Misconception” That e-Prescribing Now Is Incongruous with Adopting EHR Later

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Contrary to a misconception among some physicians that adopting e-prescribing technology now, in advance of the June 30th deadline, will in some way make adopting electronic health records later, eDoctor, Inc. president Se Kang today underscored that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules are “there to be followed” if a physician’s practice wants to take advantage of federal government incentive payments this year and avoid penalties from the feds in 2012.

Addressing what he calls a “growing misconception” that a physician’s office adopting e-prescribing now is incongruous with that same office adopting an end-to-end electronic health records (EHR) later, eDoctor, Inc. president Se Kang today underscored that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules are “there to be followed” if a physician’s practice wants to take advantage of federal government incentive payments this year and avoid penalties from the feds in 2012 and beyond.

“Perhaps the rules aren’t written as clearly as can be, but we and countless others have dissected them enough that certain key points stand out, and bonus payments are most certainly available to be received,” said Mr. Kang. “With only 100 days until the next critical date on the calendar – June 30, 2011 – now is the time for doctor’s offices to start e-prescribing.”

According to HHS, only 8% of 600,000 eligible health care practitioners earned e-prescribing bonuses in 2009, the last year for which complete statistics are available. While a 1% Medicare penalty for failing to use e-prescribing doesn’t officially kick in until 2012, physicians must implement and use such a system at least 10 times by June 30, 2011 to avoid that payment cut. By December 31, 2011, such a system must be used at least 25 times in order for doctor’s office to avoid another 1% penalty in 2013.

Concurrently, according to Mr. Kang, 1% bonus payments for 2011, 2012 and 2013 are available to physicians who serve Medicare patients and who adopt e-prescribing ahead of HHS deadlines.

“With real money on the table, one wonders why physicians are holding off on installing an e-prescribing system, especially when it supports office workflow by streamlining pharmacy transmission” said Mr. Kang. “Not only is there no more faxing and voice mail, there is far less chance of an incomplete prescription, an unforeseen drug interaction or an insurance miscue.”

Speculating as to why physician’s offices may be holding off on e-prescribing – namely a fear of having to “replace” the system later when a practice adopts a complete EHR – Lawrence Susnow, MD, president and chief medical officer of NewCrop, addressed the issue head-on.

Said Dr. Susnow, whose NewCrop software powers the eDoctor, Inc. e-prescribing system: “The fact is, with the eDoctor system, an accumulated e-prescribing history can be exported and loaded into the eventual EHR. By working with eDoctor, Inc., physicians can upgrade to any of 50+ EHRs with no cost and a simple flip of the switch. eDoctor is ready to help physicians start e-prescribing today and to make a smooth transition to EHR when they are ready to make the decision tomorrow. ”

eDoctor, Inc. is a health IT company based in a Johns Hopkins University facility in Rockville, MD. For more information, visit http://www.edoctorinc.com.

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Jim Boyle
eDoctor Inc.
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