CMS drops e-prescribing loophole

CMS is getting serious about e-prescribing. The agency is eliminating a regulatory loophole that allowed providers and pharmacies to fax prescriptions rather than send them electronically. The change should take effect in 2009, which should give providers and pharmacies enough time to prepare, observers say.

CMS officials said they're changing the rules because few pharmacies or prescribers have used e-faxing as a bridge to e-prescribing. According to SureScripts, which operates the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, only 20 percent on independent pharmacies can send and receive e-prescriptions in the standard National Council for Prescription Drug Programs' Script format.

To find out more about CMS's proposed rule:
- read this Health Data Management item
- read this iHealthBeat article

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