Senate bill would foster e-prescribing

Despite arguments that e-prescribing is unworkable for physicians at present (see next story), a group of Senators have filed a bill which would foster e-prescribing use. The bill, whose sponsors include Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and John Ensign (R-NV), along with Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Jon Porter (R-NV) in the House, would offer both incentives and penalties.

On the one hand, the bill would establish a permanent Medicare fund which would pay bonuses to physicians who implement e-prescribing. It would also give physicians a 1 percent bonus for every Medicare prescription issued electronically. Meanwhile, by 2011, Medicare doctors who aren't using e-prescribing would face a per-claim financial penalty, though it gives HHS the authority to give physicians in very small/solo or rural practices a one- to two-year hardship waiver.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this Kerry press release

ALSO:  The American Health Information Community wants HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to ask Congress for the authority to demand that everyone get on the e-prescribing bandwagon. Article

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