Be prepared to join Medicare's e-prescribing plan

November 1, 2009

Changes recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2010 e-prescribing incentive program should make the initiative even more attractive to physicians.

Changes recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2010 e-prescribing incentive program should make the program even more attractive to physicians, according to an article in Modern Physician (9/14/09). The changes also will make it easier for practices to adopt e-prescribing.

As in 2009, CMS will award qualified medical practices a bonus of 2% of total estimated allowed charges for all Medicare-covered professional services furnished from the beginning to the end of 2010. But CMS has sweetened the pie for 2010 by expanding the scope of the denominator codes to professional services outside the professional office and outpatient setting, such as those furnished in skilled nursing facilities or home care settings. For the 2010 program, CMS also plans to simplify the definition of a "successful e-prescriber" to an eligible professional who reports the G-code indicating a minimum of one prescription during an encounter in at least 25 instances during the reporting period.

CMS also proposes adding two additional reporting mechanisms in addition to the existing claims-based reporting mechanism used in the 2009 incentive program for individual eligible professionals: a registry-based reporting mechanism and a reporting mechanism based on electronic health records.