- Surescripts announced an effort to increase transparency around prescription drug benefits and pricing.
- Working with EHR vendors and pharmacy benefit managers, Surescripts will provide real-time patient-specific benefit and price information to providers at the point of care. Once integrated with the EHR, patients and doctors will also be able to see information and pricing on alternative drug options.
- The initiative leverages Surescripts’ real-time prescription benefit and prior authorization tools.
Over a 12-month period, participants in Surescripts’ real-time prescription benefit pilot generated 3.75 million transactions to test its capability and physician demand for patient-specific prescription price data, the health information network said.
Partners in this new effort include EHR vendors Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, Aprima Medical Software and GE Healthcare and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) CVS Health and Express Scripts.
Electronic prescriptions are on the rise, boosted by patient enthusiasm and advances in healthcare interoperability. In 2016, Surescripts tallied 1.6 billion e-prescriptions, up 12% from 1.4 billion the prior year.
The ONC has also promoted e-prescriptions, saying they increase patient satisfaction and reduce costs from fraud and abuse.
Many of Surescripts’ EHR and PBM partners are already involved in efforts to improve interoperability and data sharing in healthcare. Last year, for example, data from Epic’s and Cerner’s EHRs were integrated into Medisafe’s personalized medication management app, giving patients a consolidated list of medications from providers.
CVS, which reportedly is in talks to buy Aetna, recently partnered with Epic to reduce patients’ drug costs by increasing visibility around lower-cost choices using enhanced data analytics. Among other benefits, the initiative will allow purchases over over-the-counter drugs to be entered in patients’ EHRs.