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.