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CalPERS E-Prescription

USA World
Innovation Blurb: 
Simple technology enhances safety and reduces costs

CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension fund, launched a pilot program in 2009 to accelerate the use of electronic prescription of pharmaceuticals by providers in multiple health plans.  The leaders of the initiative note that the use of automated data provides physicians with critical real-time safety information, and electronic transmission saves both time and money.  The pilot will serve as an important step in determining barriers and best practices for e-prescription, as it is an important agenda item for expansion to wider populations according to both California's Governor Schwartzenagger and US President Obama.

Their Description: 

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has announced it will launch an electronic prescribing (e-Prescribing) pilot project to enhance patient safety and reduce costs.

Co-sponsored by health plan partners Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, and Medco Health Solutions, Inc., the pilot is expected to begin in April and continue through early 2010.

“The evidence shows that e-Prescribing improves patient safety by ensuring that patients receive the right prescriptions, and reduces cost to the physician, the health plan, and the patient,” said Priya Mathur, Chair of the Health Benefits Committee. “Our goal with this project is to accelerate the adoption and use of e-Prescribing by the pilot physicians serving our members.”

E-Prescribing uses an automated data entry system (such as a desktop computer, handheld device or personal computer tablet) in the physician’s office to generate a prescription. The physician then either prints and faxes or electronically transmits the prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.

“E-Prescribing gives physicians real-time access to important safety and coverage information when prescribing medications for their patients,” said Gregory Franklin, Assistant Executive Officer of Health Benefits. “This important pilot project will enable CalPERS to develop strategies and best practices that we could ideally expand to our larger physician population.”

E-Prescribing is a vital element of President Barack Obama’s plan to improve the nation’s health care system. In the recent economic stimulus plan, President Obama set aside an estimated $20 billion to promote the use of health information technology. At the State level, health care reform proposals by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger require e-Prescribing by all California providers by 2010 in an effort to reduce errors and improve patient safety.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with more than $170 billion in market assets. It provides retirement benefits to more than 1.6 million State, school and local public employees, retirees and their families, and health benefits to nearly 1.3 million members.


<p><strong>CalPERS Headquarters Address<br />
</strong>Lincoln Plaza North<br />
400 Q Street<br />
Sacramento, CA 95811<br />
<strong> (916) 795-3991<br />
Contact: Karen Perkins, Information Officer<br />
</strong><a title="" href=""><strong></strong></a><strong><br />

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