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ZixCorp applauds the bipartisan efforts in Congress to promote the widespread adoption of e-prescribing, which also has the support of the Administration, said Rick Spurr, chief executive officer for ZixCorp. We believe that Medicare, as the largest payor in the United States, can significantly accelerate the utilization of this technology through financial incentives to the physician. We're pleased to offer a system that meets the criteria defined by the bill and anticipate that this legislation, should it become law, will have a considerable impact on the e-prescribing industry.
As the leader in the e-prescribing industry, ZixCorp has been a pioneer in successfully providing this life-saving technology to doctors. ZixCorp has continued to maintain its focus on primary care, with a particular emphasis on small practices, since 75 percent of those physicians in the United States are in practices of 5 or fewer physicians.
We've seen documented results first-hand on how e-prescribing has positively impacted patient safety and improved the efficient delivery of healthcare in the United States, continued Spurr. We're pleased to introduce Dr. Boyd as one example of this success.
Dr. Robert Boyd, a New Jersey-based primary care physician working as a solo practitioner, adopted ZixCorp's PocketScript(R) e-Prescribing service in 2006. During the last two years Dr. Boyd has experienced numerous benefits including improvements in office efficiency, added safety gains and improved patient satisfaction through a reduction in medication costs. When we first began using e-prescribing, we found that it was very user-friendly and the PocketScript service was seamless and quite easy to get deployed in our practice, said Dr. Boyd. Our patients have been very receptive to e-prescribing and they have expressed how happy they are that the co-pay color-coding feature in PocketScript has kept their prescription costs down by allowing me to make point-of-care decisions on their prescription cost. From a safety point of view, messages will appear on PocketScript alerting me to a possible drug-to-drug interaction and I am very appreciative of that.
e-Prescribing Legislative Update:
On June 6, Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (S. 3101). This Medicare reform bill, which addresses the scheduled 10.6 percent cut in physician reimbursement rates, includes specific provisions on electronic prescribing aimed at significantly increasing the utilization of this technology in the market. Senator Charles Grassley (R- IA), the ranking member on the Finance Committee, has signaled that the Republicans will introduce their own Medicare bill, which will contain very similar measures with respect to e-prescribing. The introduction of these bills is the culmination of growing support for e-prescribing in Congress and across a broad coalition of industry stakeholders. A Wall Street Journal article, E-Prescribing Gets Support in Congress, reported last week that the apparent bipartisan agreement on e-prescribing seems to signal that those provisions have a good chance of surviving the haggling that will be needed to get a final Medicare bill through the divided Senate.(1) This legislation follows a letter to Congress from a broad coalition including AARP and consumer groups, business groups, healthcare companies, and physician groups, supporting the adoption of an e-prescribing requirement for Medicare. Other recent activity, including a symposium where Senator John Kerry (D- MA), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt all advocated a mandate for writing Medicare prescriptions electronically and various calls to action to utilize e-prescribing from groups ranging from physician associations to governors, is building further momentum for the adoption of this technology.
This bill would provide physicians a positive financial incentive for using a qualified e-prescribing system to write Medicare prescriptions, starting at 2 percent of allowed Medicare charges in 2009 and declining to 0.5 percent in 2013, the final year of the incentive. At the same time, the language calls for a requirement to use the technology in 2011, enforced by 1 percent penalty for failure to prescribe electronically that increases to 2 percent in 2013 and beyond. The bill also provides for exemptions for infrequent prescribers and the ability for the Secretary of HHS to grant hardship exceptions to providers who are unable to adopt the technology. Along with standards for e-prescribing that are already in place and the structure for defining qualified systems and metrics for measurement defined in the bill, this legislation could prove to be a significant catalyst in accelerating the adoption of e-prescribing, with the impact seen as early as next year.
ZixCorp e-Prescribing Programs Update:
The eRx Collaborative, ZixCorp's longest-running payor-sponsored e-Prescribing program, which was formed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Tufts Health Plan and Neighborhood Health Plan in 2003, publicly stated in February 2008 that in 2007 approximately 104,000 prescriptions changed by the physician as a result of drug alerts, 2.1 percent of the electronic prescriptions written. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts has also documented that providers who used an e-prescribing device were able to choose more cost-effective drugs and saved 5 percent on their drug costs relative to those prescribers who did not use this technology. Aetna also announced that it had experienced a five to seven percent increase in use of on-formulary and generic drugs, respectively, in its New Jersey e-Prescribing pilot with ZixCorp, which also facilitates drug-drug and drug-allergy safety checks to increase patient safety.
A recent survey of physicians by the Gorman Health Group indicated that the two primary barriers to the adoption of e-prescribing were cost and administrative hassle. ZixCorp's successful payor-sponsorship go-to-market model has shown that defraying the upfront costs of technology implementation has been key to the successful adoption rates of e-prescribing that the company has experienced by eliminating cost as a barrier to adoption. ZixCorp's high-touch payor-sponsorship model embodies a high level of support to both payors and doctors for recruiting, installation, training and reporting, which also addresses the other primary barrier to adoption.
ZixCorp's PocketScript(R) e-prescribing service enables physicians to order prescriptions through a secure wireless mobile PDA or secure Web site and deliver them electronically to the patient's preferred pharmacy. Mobility enables PocketScript to provide clinical decision support at the point-of-care with real-time access to a drug reference guide as well as patient-level eligibility, formulary, and co-pay information to aid the prescriber in selecting the most cost-effective prescription based on the patient's benefits. The application also provides comprehensive drug-to-drug and drug-to-allergy interaction alerts based on patient-specific dispensed drug history. Through partnerships with SureScripts, RxHub and RelayHealth, PocketScript delivers end-to-end connectivity within the healthcare system to reduce unnecessary costs, improve patient safety and convenience, and enhance practice efficiency.
About Zix Corporation
ZixCorp is the leading provider of easy-to-use-and-deploy email encryption and e-prescribing services that Connect entities with their customers and partners to Protect and Deliver sensitive information in the healthcare, finance, insurance and government industries. ZixCorp's hosted Email Encryption Service provides an easy and cost-effective way to ensure customer privacy and regulatory compliance for corporate email. Its PocketScript(R) e-prescribing service saves lives and saves money by automating the prescription process between payors, doctors and pharmacies. For more information, visit www.zixcorp.com.
(1) Wilde Mathews, A., Radnofsky, L. (2008, June 5). E-Prescribing Gets Support in Congress, The Wall Street Journal, p. D8
SOURCE Zix Corporation