KERRY: MASSACHUSETTS RANKS FIRST IN NATION FOR ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS
Kerry, Who Has Authored Bi-Partisan E-Prescribing Legislation, Accepts Award on Behalf of Massachusetts
BOSTON - Senator John Kerry today announced that the state of Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in transmitting prescriptions electronically. The Bay State was recognized as part of the third annual Save-Rx Awards.
Kerry is the lead sponsor of legislation in the Senate that would encourage all doctors to "write" prescriptions electronically, instead of with a paper and pen. Using e-prescribing is not only more efficient and effective, but it would save thousands of lives.
Kerry was honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC today where he accepted the award on the state's behalf.
"This is a proud moment for Massachusetts, as the nation's leader in E-Prescribing, and a star innovator of medical technology for the world. Our care providers, physicians and pharmacists have made a deep commitment to patient safety and it's saving lives," said John Kerry. "I am thrilled to receive this award on behalf of our state, and I will fight to pass the electronic prescribing legislation that I have introduced in the Senate so we can take the Massachusetts model nation-wide."
E-prescribing saves lives, time and money. Of the more than three billion prescriptions written each year, doctors report nearly one billion require a follow-up between providers and pharmacies for clarification. The health-care system costs are in the billions.
Massachusetts electronically transmitted more than 4 million prescriptions in 2007, which was more than six times the national average.
Kerry recently led a bipartisan group of legislators in introducing a bill that would expedite the adoption of electronic prescribing technology in every doctor's office in America. The bill would provide permanent Medicare funding for payment bonuses to physicians who acquire e-prescribing technology. In addition, for every Medicare prescription a doctor writes electronically, they will be paid an extra 1% bonus. Starting in 2011, Medicare physicians who are not electronically prescribing would face financial penalties.