The 2010 Florida Electronic Prescribing Report provides a general assessment of the status of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) in Florida in 2010. It presents a review of Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) activities to promote e-prescribing; highlights of state, national, public, and private e-prescribing initiatives; Florida e-prescribing metrics; and action steps to promote adoption of e-prescribing coordinated with other Agency health information technology initiatives. This report is mandated in Section 408.0611, Florida Statutes, which directs the Agency to disseminate information on e-prescribing and promote its adoption.
E-prescribing enables the electronic transmission of prescriptions as well as access to a patient’s medication history by prescribing physicians at the point of care. It improves prescription accuracy, increases patient safety and reduces costs. Accessing patients’ medication history through e-prescribing systems enables physicians to be aware of other medications ordered and better coordinate patient care with other treating physicians. E-prescribing is widely supported and its adoption continues to increase because it produces benefits and cost savings for all participants including physicians, pharmacies and patients.
Electronic Prescribing Highlights in 2010
Several important developments took place in 2010 that will impact e-prescribing over the next several years. In July 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule implementing the electronic health records incentive program for Medicare and Medicaid (“meaningful use” rules) under the provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. The HITECH Act provisions established e-prescribing as one of the component requirements for providers to qualify for incentive payments. The meaningful use rules include e-prescribing in the core set of required measures for eligible professionals to qualify for incentive payments. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) established four Regional Extension Centers in Florida with the mission of assisting health care providers achieve meaningful use and national Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies to begin certifying for meaningful use electronic health record software that includes e-prescribing components. Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final rule permitting the e-prescribing of controlled substances. In Florida, the Agency continued its promotion of the Florida Medicaid Health Information Network which offers physicians and other authorized providers secure portal access to patients’ Medicaid claims data and an e-prescribing tool available to Medicaid providers at no charge. National and state e-prescribing organizations, payers, and professional associations continued to produce educational materials and tools available to physicians on their websites. Together, these developments have resulted in continued growth in the adoption of e-prescribing.