Practice Fusion launches prescription coupon program

Ambulatory care electronic health record vendor Practice Fusion is offering prescription coupons in its EHRs that physicians can pass on to their patients, the company recently announced.

In a March 31 blog post, Practice Fusion says the coupons reduce barriers to treatment options, improve adherence, reduce the cost of treatment and provide convenience.

"An estimated 50 million patients in 2012 did not fill a prescription due to the high cost of a medication," Ryan Howard, founder and CEO of Practice Fusion, tells FierceEMR in an email. "This not only impacts individual health outcomes, but contributes to the overall rising costs of healthcare nationwide. Practice Fusion's prescription coupon integration helps providers discover potential cost saving medications for patients.

Howard says that the integration will help to streamline an already established industry program that will "stem the tide of rising healthcare costs" while improving care.

This is not the first innovation launched by Practice Fusion, which last spring created a national health care data base for professionals, public health organizations and research institutions.

However, some of its initiatives have generated debate, such as its new sponsored notifications, which raised concerns that the program could be interpreted as violating the anti-kickback statute. Practice Fusion's ads also have raised concerns that they could cause physicians to violate HIPAA's restrictions on marketing.

Howard defends Practice Fusion's programs, including the new coupon plan.

"Within the EHR, providers are alerted to the availability of a prescription coupon once a medication has been selected," he says. "This initiative is not a marketing program, as providers have no insight to the potential savings benefits until the medication is selected at the point of care. Protecting patient health information is our No. 1 priority and we adhere to industry established HIPAA guidelines."

To learn more:
- read the blog post