AMA announces partnership with e-prescribing vendor

Allscripts is the latest partner on AMA's physician portal now in development.

By Pamela Lewis Dolan — Posted July 30, 2009

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The American Medical Association announced that it has partnered with Allscripts to offer a free e-prescribing solution through its physician portal, which is expected to launch next year.

The portal is to be a one-stop shop for resources to help physicians. In addition to educational resources, the portal will provide a host of products and systems, including practice management, electronic medical records and electronic prescribing, vetted by the AMA, that can be downloaded and accessed from one place.

Allscripts is the second e-prescribing vendor to partner with the AMA, after DrFirst announced its partnership in April. The Allscripts system would be free with a portal membership. It can be accessed from any Web-enabled device and would not require a separate download. Through the portal, physicians can send electronic prescriptions to any pharmacy that is a part of Surescripts, the national e-prescribing network.

E-prescribing is considered by many to be a precursor to full electronic medical records adoption, as it creates a simple patient record and medication list. In January, Medicare started providing incentives to doctors who e-prescribe. Those incentives will turn to penalties in 2012.

"By offering this solution from Allscripts, one of the leading providers of e-prescribing, we are making it easier for physicians to adopt this new technology," said Joseph M. Heyman, MD, AMA immediate past chair. "Electronic prescribing can help enhance quality while also helping physicians qualify for Medicare payment incentives."

To help physicians find the right e-prescribing system, the AMA recently updated its e-prescribing learning center to include a system finder that creates a list of three suggested systems based on physicians' answers to a questionnaire. The site also has a calculator to determine how much a practice can expect to earn in incentive pay.

The AMA's physician portal, developed by Covisint, a subsidiary of Detroit-based Compuware Corp., is currently being beta tested and will be available to all physicians in 2010. In addition to DrFirst and Allscripts, the AMA has announced a partnership with Microsoft, which will make access to its personal health record platform HealthVault available through the portal.

The portal's subscription price has not been set, although a discount for AMA members is expected.

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