Surescripts is touting the benefits of its real-time prescription benefit tool to help clinicians quickly find a more affordable drug, saving patients money and tying them closer to the provider organization.
For example, clinicians can have benefit information automatically pulled from pharmacy benefit manager firms and inserted into the electronic health record, then select an appropriate therapy for a patient and pick the patient’s preferred pharmacy.
Using the prescription benefit tool one clinician found that a patient’s medication cost $ 1,361.40, but a generic alternative though the patient’s pharmacy benefit plan cost $ 4.
“With real-time prescription benefit, we are able to help our patients make educated decisions on their current prescriptions based on their finances,” says Paula Ubelhor, an insurance and billing manager at Randall Dermatology in West Lafayette, Ind., which uses the Modernizing Medicine electronic health record.
“With this feature we reduce the amount of staff time spent on the phone with pharmacies and can help patients identify more affordable medication alternatives,” she adds.
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Thus far, electronic health record vendors covering 77 percent of the market offer the prescription benefit tool, which providers have used 30 million times to view patient-specific and formulary-based benefit and cost information.
Prescription benefit management firms and insurers are offering the service that covers 70 percent of insured lives. As more patients are prescribed affordable medications, the industry can expect to see higher medication adherence and less rework for clinicians, according to Surescripts.
Further, by having real-time benefit information available and displaying medications within the EHR that require prior authorization, clinicians may be able to select another medication that does not require authorization, resulting in being able to spend less time on prior authorization requests and reducing the chance of prescription abandonment and the resulting medication management non-compliance of the patient.