Surescripts lowers e-prescribing costs

By Molly Merrill
04:24 PM

Officials at Alexandria, Va.-based Surescripts say it is reducing what pharmacies, pharmacy vendors and pharmacy benefit managers pay for e-prescribing.

According to company officials, it has been six years since Surescripts, which operates the nation's largest e-prescription network, has had a price increase.

"Our decision to lower prices fulfills a public promise made when legacy SureScripts and RxHub were founded," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts.

Surescripts is the result of a 2008 merger between RxHub, headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and Alexandria, Va.-based SureScripts.

"Three things have enabled us to keep this promise: Surescripts' ongoing commitment to its own operational efficiency; the economies of scale resulting from the merger; and Surescripts' success in working with healthcare organizations across the country to create and meet the growing demand for e-prescribing," said Totonis.

"And," he added, "we are not done yet. With this price reduction, we are focused on the opportunity to connect even more physicians, pharmacies, payers and patients.... As we add more participants to the network, this will continue to drive down the cost of e-prescribing, as our efficiency, scale and economics improve. As this occurs, we will again pass those savings along to the industry."

According to an article in ModernMedicine, Surescripts's lower prices could mean a 10 to 15 percent reduction for independents or more depending on the third-party software used.

"The widespread adoption of <a href="/directory/e-prescribing" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">e-prescribing is clearly the right thing for all of us to support," said Stanton McComb, president of McKesson Pharmacy Systems. "In these times, we are especially sensitive to the economic pressures that our customers are under. We recognize that most everyone wants to support e-prescribing, but there is a real cost to doing so for pharmacies. MPS felt that it was important to support and extend Surescripts' price reductions as quickly as possible to our software customers to support this advancement in pharmacy care and also support our customers economically."

In other recent news, Surescripts announced that it has formed a committee to help guide the company's development of a prescription history service for health information exchanges. The HIE Advisory Committee will help Surescripts to engage, listen and work out the operational details of a prescription history service for HIEs and other appropriate community entities. Officials said Surescripts intends to facilitate a connection to multiple data sources in a way that supports both meaningful use and shared objectives for patient safety, privacy and security.

Committee members are:

  • Laura Adams, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute
  • Michael Matthews, CEO of MedVirginia
  • Marc Overhage, CEO of Indiana Health Information Exchange
  • Robert Steffel, CEO of HealthBridge