E-prescribing may help compliance with new Medicaid tamper-proof rule


NASHVILLE, Tenn. The delay of the new tamper-resistant Medicaid prescription law may be good fortune for medical professionals, who are exercising their options.

Some providers, according to reports, have considered the idea of e-prescribing techniques to comply with the law, which requires hand-written prescriptions to be written on tamper-resistant paper.

The law is designed to cut down on Medicaid prescription fraud.

Because prescriptions submitted electronically have no risk of being altered by the patient, David Beshara, chief pharmacy officer at TennCare, says he hopes more doctors will adopt e-prescribing, if only to circumvent the new requirement.

“I think the e-prescribe channel has so many benefits that have been untapped,” Beshara said to the Nashville Business Journal. “One is fraud, the second is it really cuts down on transcription errors.”

Prescription medication errors—including adverse drug effects from combining drugs—injure 1.5 million Americans each year, according to the Institute of Medicine. Although e-prescribing is, overall, more efficient, it may not be the simplest of tasks. “Six months is not enough time for most places to adopt new technology,” Kevin Johnson, vice chairman of the department of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told the Journal.

Johnson did say, however, that utilizing both practices might be the best problem solver and that installing dual-tray printers may help hospitals move more effectively—something Vanderbilt has already put into effect. It will allow physicians to print the prescriptions without sacrificing cost or time.

“E-prescribing is really the best solution we have,” said Johnson. “I view this particular piece of legislation as a long-term positive for e-prescribing and a short-term negative for e-prescribing.”

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