News Release

May 20, 2011

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

E-Prescribing Provides Quicker, Safer Prescriptions for SoonerCare Members

OKLAHOMA CITY – E-prescribing provides quicker, safer prescriptions for SoonerCare members

Faster, safer and cost effective are words describing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s latest endeavor, e-prescribing.

The agency will soon implement an electronic prescribing system, which will increase the quality, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery for SoonerCare members as well as simplify the prescription process for prescribers

“We are dedicated to serving our members in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible,” said OHCA CEO Mike Fogarty. “E-prescribing is the link that connects the patient, the prescriber and the pharmacy, resulting in overall better health care.”

E-prescribing will allow SoonerCare prescribers statewide to use a computer or electronic handheld device to generate and send prescriptions to a pharmacy. The e-prescribing application notifies the prescriber of medications available under a specific member’s SoonerCare plan, displays the previous two years of a member’s medication history and checks the potential prescription against the member’s current prescriptions and medical conditions.

For a member, this means they can choose their preferred pharmacy, and the prescription can be ready when they arrive at the pharmacy. It also means a patient won’t be given a paper prescription which the pharmacist may find difficult to read, requiring a call back to the prescriber’s office. Studies show e-prescribing is safer because there is less room for error with an electronic document.

The prescriber has access to the list of drugs which are preferred and those which do not require a prior authorization from OHCA.  This saves time for the member, the prescriber, and the pharmacy because the prescription can be filled without any administrative intervention. 

Preferred drugs are those that yield the most cost effective therapy.  Allowing the prescriber to view medications prescribed by other health care practitioners helps them make the most informed medication decisions.  Viewing the member’s medication history also gives feedback to verify that the member is actually getting the medications filled.

E-prescribing may be the first step into electronic medical records for a prescriber’s office.  When prescribers and hospitals can see medical records from other health care providers and facilities, duplicate testing and procedures can be reduced, and health care dollars are spent more effectively. 

For State Fiscal Year 2011, OHCA is projecting that SoonerCare will reimburse pharmacies for almost 5.8 million prescriptions.  That is an average of about 7.5 prescriptions per member per year. 

E-prescribing is part of the federal and state Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, which furnishes incentive payments for the purchase, implementation, or upgrade of an Electronic Medical Records system for the first year of the program.  Demonstrating the meaningful use of certified EHR technology is required for year two payments and beyond.  “Meaningful use” includes utilizing an e-prescribing system. 

For more information, visit OHCA’s EHR Incentive website at www.okhca.org/ehr-incentive, or follow us on social media at www.okhca.org/socialmedia.

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