The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its long awaited e-prescribing standard. The new rules, which go into effect with the arrival of Medicare Part D in January 2006, will require health plans which offer prescription drug plans in conjunction with Medicare to support e-prescribing. The new rules fall short of the more sweeping changes some critics had wanted, however. Some observers had argued the government's e-prescribing initiative should cover all e-prescribing transactions, not just those involving Medicare. In a related announcement, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality said it will award $6 million in grants to pilot projects testing the new foundation standards.