CMS Issue Alert: Medicare Modernization Act E-Prescribing

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On April 2, 2008, CMS released a final rule regarding the adoption of electronic prescription drug program uniform standards and the adoption of a standard identifier for provider and dispenser use in e-prescribing transactions. Under the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), Congress mandated that all Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) plans (PDPs) and pharmacies participating in Part D support an electronic prescription program. Although prescribers are not required to use eprescribing (eRx), PDPs must have a system in place for those who do want to use e-prescribing technology. By adopting uniform standards for three additional e-prescribing standards and utilizing a national provider identifier to identify healthcare providers, CMS provides an interoperable framework that enables communications between prescribers, dispensers, and Medicare PDPs aimed at increasing efficiencies and quality of care. These standards enable an e-prescribing process that allows physicians to better track medication adherence by patients and to increase coordination through improved provider identification thereby minimizing callbacks to verify identity.

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