Why Hasn't E-Prescribing of DME Taken Off?
on March 11, 2022
By Ken Hodel, VP, Product Development, DMEscripts
Electronic prescribing of medications and lab tests have been a part of the healthcare ecosystem for almost 20 years. It has been proven to improve quality of care, reduce errors, increase efficiency, and lower administrative costs. So why hasn’t e-prescribing of durable medical equipment taken off?
Reluctance to Change
For many years, change in healthcare was mired in a reluctance by physicians to adopt new technologies. The general perception had been that technology was an inhibitor that slowed them down and created more work. However, as the pandemic progressed, it accelerated the acceptance of new technology that could benefit both physicians and their patients.
E-prescribing for DME is unlike e-prescribing for meds or labs in that more than just a prescription with a signature is required to justify the patient getting what has been prescribed. Payer qualification guidelines and the need for supporting documentation add a complexity to e-prescribe for DME that is accounted for in only a handful of DME e-prescribe platforms.
What Is a DME E-Prescribe Platform?
All four of the DME e-prescribe platforms (DMEscripts, eOrders Plus, GoScripts, Parachute Health) are centered around producing complete and accurate DME orders. Unlike the e-faxed orders that come out of an electronic health record (EHR) or referral management platform, a high percentage of DME e-prescribe orders come with a billable and refillable prescription in addition to the accompanying documentation to prove medical necessity for the item being ordered. The orders produced by these platforms reduce, and many times remove, the rework that is inherent in the current fax and phone-based DME ordering process.
Without the friction point of rework, orders can sail smoothly from intake to delivery resulting in real benefits for DME providers like faster delivery of orders, higher patient and healthcare provider satisfaction, reduced inbound calls, and increased patient starts on service. With DME e-prescribe everyone wins—healthcare provider, DME provider, and patient.
It is crucial that DME providers educate themselves. Most important is to know what differentiates a DME e-prescribe order from an order e-faxed out of an EHR system.
E-faxed orders from an EHR system are certainly a far sight better than handwritten orders since they are typically legible and provide accurate patient demographic information. However, EHR systems most often don’t help qualify the order or provide the HCPCS and utilization data that is required for a billable and refillable prescription.
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This article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Forecasting 2022. Continue reading "Why Hasn't E-Prescribing of DME Taken Off?"...
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