HHS unveils new proposals for Medicare e-prescribing

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New proposed rules for electronic prescribing under the Medicare drug benefit program are being issued today in the Federal Register. Accurate prescriptions and medical histories would be able to flow without problems between clinicians and pharmacies under the proposals, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

"Adopting this rule will move us considerably closer to that connected system that we are all working for," said Leavitt. He discussed the proposal Tuesday at a health information technology conference in Chicago. "It will be an improvement in the safety and quality of health care all patients receive."

The new standards would cut into the 530,000 adverse drug interactions that occur each year under the Medicare program and lead to safer, less expensive, more convenient drug delivery, Leavitt said. HHS will accept comments on the proposed rule until Jan. 15.