Move comes as part of a broader effort to encourage the adoption of health information technology.
As part of a broader effort to encourage the adoption of health information technology, the Department of Health and Human Services next year will start providing incentive payments to doctors and other eligible professionals who use e-prescriptions. Medicare will pay a 2% incentive payment in 2009 and 2010, a 1% payment in 2011 and 2012, and 1/2% payment in 2013. Conversely, doctors and other eligible professionals who do not successfully use e-prescriptions will receive a reduction in Medicare payments. Professionals who would suffer significant hardship by adopting e-prescriptions may be exempted. The government believes the five-year program could save $156 million through the avoidance of adverse drug events.