The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing new e-prescribing standards for formulary and benefit, as well as medication history transactions.
CMS contends that information provided via the medication history transaction can help reduce the number of adverse drug events. The organization also states that the formulary and benefit transaction can provide prescribers with data about which drugs are covered by a Medicare beneficiary's prescription drug benefit plan, and indicate which generic prescription drugs might offer lower-cost options for a particular patient.
In other government news, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fund a $400 million Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP) that would expand access to healthcare to rural and underserved communities through the creation of broadband telehealth networks in 42 states and three U.S. territories.
The healthcare facilities qualified to participate in this pilot program would utilize funding to leverage existing telehealth networks or build-out new, comprehensive systems for telehealth projects, according to the FCC. RHCPP participants would be eligible for universal service funding to support up to 85 percent of the costs associated with the design, engineering and construction of "innovative and highly efficient broadband systems."