The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, Washington) is including a new e-prescribing initiative in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule for calendar year 2009.
Physicians and other eligible professionals who adopt and use qualified e-prescribing systems to transmit prescriptions to pharmacies may earn an incentive payment of 2.0 percent of their total Medicare allowed charges during 2009, the organization says. This incentive is in addition to a 2.0 percent incentive payment for 2009 for physicians who successfully report measures under the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), and both incentive payments are in addition to the 1.1 percent fee schedule update required by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). A physician who successfully reports under both the e-prescribing and PQRI initiatives could receive up to a 5.1 percent pay boost for 2009, it says.
To participate in the e-prescribing incentive program, physicians will need to have a qualified e-prescribing system with certain required capabilities. To earn the incentive payment, physicians must successfully report one of three codes for the e-prescribing measure when submitting claims for specified types of medical visits.
The revised policies and payment rates will become effective January 1, 2009.