U.S. doctors increasingly are ditching pen and paper and sending prescriptions to pharmacies electronically, lured by up to $27 billion in government funds aimed at speeding the switch to electronic medical records. Massachusetts, one in three prescriptions is now written electronically, and 57 percent of doctors are sending prescriptions electronically. Doctors in Michigan, a state that has been hit hard by a slowdown in the automotive industry, make the most use of features that allow them to see if a patient’s health plan covers certain drugs.President Barack Obama has made using information technology a central plank in his plan to cut costs out of a U.S. healthcare system that consistently ranks lower in quality measures than other rich countries. Dr. Edward Lisberg, an asthma and allergy specialist based in River Forest, Illinois, made the switch to e-prescribing and electronic medical records nine months ago. He said moving to e-prescribing was much easier than the transition he made to electronic medical records, which involves transferring years of patient medical histories into a digital form. Medicare patients required to qualify for up to $44,000 offered by the government to cover the cost of converting from paper to digital health records. And he… Read full this story
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