Senate Passes Kerry e-Prescribing Reform in Medicare Bill
Sen. John Kerry today announced the Senate's passage of his e-prescribing provision in the Medicare bill by a vote of 69-30. This landmark provision will, for the first time, require physicians to adopt electronic prescribing technology. This reform mirrors S.2408, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Kerry last year.
"e-Prescribing is a fundamental step towards modernizing our health care system," said Sen. Kerry. "It will save lives by reducing medical errors and save billions of dollars."
The bill also removes discriminatory co-payment rates for seniors who need mental health services. Today, seniors pay a 50% co-payment for mental health services, but only a 20% rate for other medical care. Sens. Kerry and Snowe have introduced legislation in each of the last three Congresses to reduce this co-payment to 20%.
The bill prevents payment cuts to our nation's physicians who serve seniors on Medicare - cuts that would have jeopardized seniors' access to doctors, particularly primary care physicians who are already struggling. The bill also makes important investments in beneficiary access to the Medicare program, especially for low-income seniors who struggle to pay for health care.