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TECH: Free eRx from Allscripts and friends, with UPDATE

Allscripts, backed by a cast of friends, is going to let any physician in America sign up for its ASP-based eRx system (which links into Surescripts) for free. The coalition is called the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI) and it has its own website and press release and everything!

Also in on the deal are two biggie health plans, Wellpoint and Aetna, several tech companies (Dell, Cisco, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Sprint, & Google), Surescripts (connection to pharmacies) and Wolters Kluwer (drug databases). I assume there is some money flowing around (presumably from the health plans) to cover the costs, but it’s not clear how much or to whom. I’ll endeavor to find out.

The old joke is that for physicians to adopt technology, free isn’t cheap enough. I guess that we’re about to find out.

UPDATE: Well I actually listened to the whole webcast (yes, my life is pretty sad!). The most interesting thing is the Glenn Tullman (Allscripts, CEO) said that the 5 years commitment was $100m. That’s real money, and the only real place that they can expect to get (most of that) is from the health plans—unless Glenn’s got the negatives of Bill Gates or Larry and Sergey with the goats. And it’s probably a similar amount that Wellpoint and the others have already spent on these initiatives, much of that with Allscripts—so there’s probably a migration of those regional projects going on.

The other thing mentioned was that the system would have interfaces with practice management systems—what that means in reality remains to be seen of course.

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howard mcveighJim AllenBryanGary Mirkin, MDStella Baskomb Recent comment authors
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howard mcveigh
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howard mcveigh

I have worked with four different EHRs.
Now six months into Allscripts, I advise any other system.
I hate Allscripts.
If your hospital is exploring EHR, get involved and experience actual visits at Allscripts installed sites.
Talk to the users and victims and avoid salesmen and administrators.
Did I mention I hate Allscripts?

Jim Allen
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Jim Allen

I come from a family of pharmacists but realized that my three uncles, aunt, and older brother all hated being pharmacists. I quit pharmacy school my junior year and switched to biochemistry when I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life counting pills in multiples of 12 or 20. The catalyst was the pharmacy professor who “explained” that the required two years of calculus was to control and reduce the number of pharmacy graduates. Ironically, I ended up as a “detail man” selling pharmaceuticals for six years when I got out of the Army (remember Vietnam?).… Read more »

Bryan
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Bryan

Who’s responsible if instead of writing a electronic prescription you hand a paper one to a patient and while in the parking lot the wind grabs it and they chase it into the street and get hit by a car? You for writing it or them for running into the street?
How about if your car manufactuer installed 2 gas pedals instead of a gas and brake and you went flying into a wall – you responsible or the car manufactuerer?

Emdee Endihous
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Emdee Endihous

Gary, Your comments are very insightful. We experience similar pains. We installed Quests 360 for free and the only thing our staff uses it for is calling up lab results. To my knowledge, no one has ever used the free prescription software and now that we have decided to switch lab vendors the installation cost and staff training is lost. I did have some experience with AllScripts too when I join an IPA and a Medical Group in California. Both signed up with AllScripts in order to qualify for health plan incentives. It took months to install and after we… Read more »

Gary Mirkin, MD
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Regarding you comment, “The old joke is that for physicians to adopt technology, free isn’t cheap enough. I guess that we’re about to find out.” The North Shore University Hospital Medical Staff IPA I am president of has already painfully proven this point. Our IPA paid for licenses for docs to e-prescribe using DrFirst’s Rcopia, paid for the Palms AND the wireless modems, paid a $1,000 honorarium to those docs who wrote 200 scripts in the first few months–and we still couldn’t get more than half of the docs to sign up. One year into the program, we’ve had a… Read more »

Stella Baskomb
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Stella Baskomb

Emdee, I’m with you.
I don’t trust corporations or insurance companies with my private medical data. I want only the federal government to have access to my private health information. Federal health workers will be reliable and honest; private citizens working for profit are inherently unreliable and dishonest.

Emdee Endihous
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Emdee Endihous

OK, so no one likes to be a party pooper! Therefore, I was glad to see that I am not the only skeptical person to comment on this announcement. Personally, I seriously doubt the ability for these companies to pull this off. Are people supposed to believe that AllScripts is altruistically giving this away? Come on, consumers and physicians know a Trojan Horse when they see one. Not to mention the integrity of the Health Plans…. There is also the real issue of security and the HUGE privacy risk to consumers. Don’t believe me, just look at the VA, the… Read more »

neimon
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neimon

I can’t help it.
No group of corporations like these is in it for the good of it. Newt? Yeah, he’s a real compassionate guy and isn’t thinking only of the dollars .
No, they’re in it because they smell value.
What’s in it for them? Data mining. Don’t worry. Trust us. We’ll never deny you coverage, or a job, or a security clearance, or housing, or financing because of the health records we dipped into. What’s that? The agreement says they won’t share your data except with authorized recipients? SURPRISE! WE’RE ALL AUTHORIZED.
Got I hate this stuff.