CMS approves Part D e-prescribing standards

CMS has put its stamp of approval on three e-prescribing standards for use in Medicare Part D transactions, after testing them jointly with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. CMS tested a larger group of standards with five pilot sites in eight states, with participants including Eden Prairie, MN-based Achieve Healthcare Information Technologies, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, Santa Monica, CA-based Rand, Alexandra, VA-based SureScripts and University Hospitals Health System of Cleveland, OH. The three standards that worked are designed to convey formulary and benefit information, exchange of medication histories and fill status notifications. However, the other three standards, which dealt with structured code sets for patient instructions, clinical drug terminology and prior authorization methods, didn't pass muster with AHRQ and CMS. The research, which also tested out e-prescribing in long-term care for 12 months, found that nursing and pharmacy staffs weren't satisfied with the technology.

To find out more about the tests:
- check out this Healthcare IT News item
- read this Modern Healthcare article (sub. req.)
- see the CMS report (.pdf) summarizing the study findings
- read the long-term care report (.pdf)