Latebreakers: CMS proposes Medicare e-prescribing standard

December 10, 2007

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would create a new standard for electronic prescriptions for the Medicare Part D program.

In perhaps another important step toward widespread adoption of electronic prescriptions, CMS proposed new standards for e-prescribing under Medicare Part D. The proposed rule governing formulary and benefit data and medication history keeps CMS on track to have a final standard ready to be implemented by April 1, 2009, as required by the Medicare Modernization Act. The rule has drawn positive responses from e-prescription companies. All scripts, a member of the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative, issued a statement proclaiming its "strong support" for the proposed rule. Kevin Hutchinson, CEO of SureScripts, praised CMS for coordinating its work with other standards organizations like NCPDP and for greater openness and clarity in the process of creating the standards. The agency is accepting comments on the rule through Jan. 15. Comments can be submitted electronically at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/eRulemaking/.