|SAN DIEGO -- From the floor of the 2006 HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Annual Conference and Exhibition, Allscripts (Nasdaq:MDRX), the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare, today announced that it has been selected to participate with two research teams studying electronic prescribing standards through pilot tests funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
The projects will be administered jointly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In total, $6 million has been allocated to fund cooperative agreements to test initial standards for electronic prescribing in part with the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which encourages health plans to support physicians use of electronic prescribing and adoption of standards to promote interoperability.
One e-prescribing pilot project will be led by the RAND Corporation and will take place within the New Jersey E-Prescribing Action Coalition and includes Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and the electronic prescription routing companies RxHub and SureScripts; Caremark; Walgreen's retail pharmacies; and Point of Care Partners, a consulting group that has led standards development efforts for electronic prescribing. The project will be evaluating a number of standards including medication history, standards for formulary and benefit information received from payers and the use of standardized formats for patient instructions and drug vocabularies.
Allscripts is also collaborating with researchers from Brown University and Midwestern University as well as SureScripts to test the initial standards for electronic prescribing across various Allscripts client sites in the States of Tennessee and Nevada, including Sierra Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:SIE), the largest managed care provider in the State of Nevada. The pilot will evaluate how the standards work in a variety of practice settings and geographic areas and how prescriber characteristics influence adoption of electronic prescribing technology.
Allscripts provides their electronic prescribing solution to the company's medical group subsidiary, Southwest Medical Associates (SMA).
"We are excited to be a part of the government's movement towards the adoption of healthcare information technology," said Anthony Marlon, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sierra. Since adopting the Allscripts solution, our physicians at SMA have utilized an interoperable electronic prescribing product that has changed the way healthcare is delivered to our patients. We look forward to sharing our results with the government as they prepare to define the standards for electronic prescribing."
The duration of the HHS electronic prescribing pilot is one year. The program will test the transmission of the patient's prescription and the ability for prescribers to view the patient's drug benefits, including formulary information and drug history and the ability to transmit prior authorization transactions requests.
"Together with our clients we are helping the federal government determine the necessary standards for Medicare's new prescription drug benefit plan, an important step in improving the way care is delivered in the United States," said Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts.