Medicare e-Prescribing incentive program

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The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) created an e-prescribing reporting incentive that pays successful electronic prescribers 2 percent of Medicare billing starting January 2009. Eligible professionals will receive 2 percent incentive payments in 2009 and 2010; 1 percent incentive payments in 2011 and 2012; and a 0.5 percent incentive payment in 2013.

This initiative is a modified version of Medicareís Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) Measure 125. Physicians do not need to participate in PQRI to take part in the e-prescribing incentive program; they may participate in both initiatives and receive separate incentive payments.


Increased patient safety resulting from harmful-interaction checks and alerts, Fewer medication errors through computerized transmission of legible prescriptions directly to the pharmacy, Fewer phone calls between physician and pharmacy for clarification, and Improved formulary compliance, which may result in higher patient compliance.

Getting started

To qualify for the incentive, a physician must use a qualified e-prescribing system. This can be a stand- alone system, or one integrated with an electronic medical record system or through a qualified registry. A qualified e-prescribing system must be able to:

  • Generate a complete active medication list incorporating electronic data from applicable pharmacies and benefit managers
  • Select medications
  • Print prescriptions;
  • Electronically transmit prescriptions;
  • Conduct safety alerts (written or audible signals that warn prescribers of possible undesirable or unsafe situations, including potentially inappropriate doses or routes of administration of a drug, drug-drug interactions, allergies, or warnings and cautions)
  • Provide information on lower cost, therapeutically appropriate alternatives;
  • Provide information on formulary medications
  • Electronically receive authorization requirements from the patientís drug plan.


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