Surescripts has announced that it is joining forces with five major electronic health records (EHR) companies, while also leveraging information from CVS Health and Express Scripts, with the end goal to deliver patient-specific benefit and price information to providers in real time at the point of care.
In a Nov. 7 press release, Surescripts officials noted that prescription price transparency is critical to lowering patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and preventing “sticker shock” and prescription abandonment at the pharmacy, a common cause of medication non-adherence which negatively impacts patient safety and costs an estimated $300 billion annually, according to the New England Health Institute.
To this end, in just 12 months, Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit pilot participants, including CVS and Express Scripts, generated 3.75 million transactions to test the functionality and validate the market demand for delivering patient-specific prescription benefit price data to prescribers in real time.
Now, prescribers will be able to see what a medication will cost their patient, based on their specific health plan coverage, and pick the most affordable medication that meets the patient’s needs. Once the most appropriate and affordable medication is selected, if an authorization is still required, it may be quickly completed during the office visit within the EHR workflow. It is then sent to the pharmacy, resulting in the patient leaving the doctor’s office confident in both the medication choice and the medication cost, knowing that it will be covered by their insurance.
The joint collaboration with Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, GE Healthcare, Practice Fusion and Aprima EHRs represents 53 percent of the U.S. physician base, according to officials. And the information leveraged from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) CVS Health and Express Scripts, represent nearly two-thirds of U.S. patients. Once integrated with the EHR, the solution will also display therapeutic alternatives so that the prescriber and patient can collaborate in selecting a medication that is both clinically appropriate and affordable, officials stated.
“We’re deploying actionable intelligence to the exact point in the care process where patients’ prescription benefits can be optimized,” Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts, said in a statement. “Together with our partners, we’re delivering value back to the network in the form of greater price transparency and a streamlined workflow—two keys to patients getting the right drug at the right time, and at a cost that lets them start and stick with their medication therapy.”
Added Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. “We are excited about the prospect of being able to provide physicians and patients with information during the office visit, at the point of prescribing, which can enable them to select a medication that is both effective for the patient’s condition and affordable. This visibility can help streamline the patient’s access to care and can ultimately help improve medication adherence.”