ePrescribing is the stupidest thing to come to pharmacy to date. It serves no point, it causes MORE errors, plus it costs pharmacies upward of $0.30/rx to receive each prescription.
Lets take a realistic look at this. Next time you are at work, tally up how many refill requests you send to doctors a day. Now multiply that by $0.30 and figure out how much a month that surcharge will cost you. You think that the doctors are paying thousands of dollars a month for this “service?” No! The brunt of the cost is placed firmly on the backs of the pharmacies who get forced into this service by the doctors. Wait, it gets better. You know that idiot in the doctors office who points-and-clicks their way to that eRx? Well if they screw up and make any changes (and resubmit it to you), its another $0.30! Oh, but this time you’ve already filled the Rx and now have to RTS and redo everything.
Despite what SureScripts (and the pharmacies who suck their dick, mostly Good Neighbor Pharmacy and the infamous AmerisorceBergen) claim; eRx provides absolutely no cost or time savings for pharmacies or pharmacists. This is because:
- We have to retype /everything/ due to a lack of a standard sig code table between the 1000’s of pharmacy software vendors out there. Not to mention that every pharmacy system has the drugs entered in differently as well.
- It costs us $0.30 for the “privilege” of receiving an eRx, $0.25 for the NCPDP transmission, another $0.50 for the vial and label, another $2 for the labor, and when you’re dealing with horrible PBM’s (mostly MedImpact, MedImpact, MedImpact again, MedImpact and BlueShield), you only make $drugcost + $2. You lose money with every eRx you get!
- If the person typing in the eRx makes a mistake, its another $0.30. If you fax it back for something that’s not covered and they respond via eRx, another $0.30.
If you can get your hands on the Good Neighbor Pharmacy bulletin, you’ll see how much GNP and AmerisorceBergen sucks the sweaty cock of SureScript. Pharmacists just like you and I voiced their concerns in the GNP newsletter; and ABC and GNP pretty much said “well, deal with it. You’ll make money we promise”. Yeah… “Hi! I’m you’re wholesaler, bleed out money because I want to make sure SureScripts looks good”. I hope GNP pharmacies are getting a huge cut on their wholesaler bill since now ABC is making business desisions for them.
Bruce Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), today hailed the move by AmerisourceBergen Corporation to enroll its Good Neighbor Pharmacy® network of independent community pharmacies as Founding Members of SureScripts, the nation’s largest network provider of electronic prescribing services. The move will add more than 2,400 pharmacies to the SureScripts network. NCPA co-founded SureScripts in 2001 to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of the overall prescribing process.
Don’t say that your pharmacy associations don’t do anything for you! Now GNP pharmacies get ass-raped by their own for the low-low cost of only $0.30/eRx. Here’s something about “quality, safety, and efficiency”: I have seen more errors, decimal point, and unit fuckups via SureScript eRx in one week than YEARS OF PAPER PRESCRIPTIONS. In fact, I keep a file of all of the eRx fuckups that I get (it gets about 2-3 a day, that’s 15 a week) so when doctors say how WONDERFUL it is, I show them how many lives I have saved. I’ve seen injection dose written instead of an oral dose, blatant overdoses, everything you can imagine. I’ve even had controlled substances faxed to 2 different pharmacies 1 min apart for a cash paying patient MULTIPLE TIMES. Hows that for safety and quality!
Now here’s the dirty secret of eRx’s, and why doctors have their panties moistened by its computer goodness. You see, the “old fashioned way”, doctors had to sign each Rx they gave out to the patient. However those days are long gone thanks to ePrescribing. Now all some idiot has to know is the doctors password and ANYONE IN THE OFFICE CAN SEND OFF PRESCRIPTIONS. That’s right, this bullshit doesn’t save the pharmacies any time, but it saves the doctor a bunch because its pretty much giving anyone who works in the office the power to sign and give patients legit prescriptions (even for controlled substances!) Before, you had to steal the doctors pad and write out phonies, now anyone in the office with access to the eRx terminal can splatter out narcotics to every pharmacy that takes eRx’s and nobody would be the wiser. Oh wait, SureScripts is all about safety and quality.
Did you also know that our omnipotent legislatures are trying to make ePrescribing mandatory for MediCare? Boy, doesn’t that look really good for SureScript. I wonder who’s hand is in who’s pants now. Oh wait, remember Bruce Roberts of NCPA and co-founder of SureScripts? He’s sucking the big O cock. I wonder what sort of kickback he’s going to get if SureScripts becomes the ONLY ePrescribing outfit that is raping the backsides of pharmacies. TRUST YOUR PHARMACY ASSOCIATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR OWN BEST INTERESTS.
An astute reader sent in the following (Thanks Angry Tech!):
You didn’t even go into how the government is MANDATING doctors to use E-Prescribing to avoid getting a reduction in Medicare reimbursement. (Best link I’ve been able to find is here)
Oh great, so now we’re FORCING the doctors to prescribe in a less-safe and unproven manner to prevent them getting a reimbursement cut. Looks like the SureScript screwing is all around! Lets see what Bruce Roberts says about all of this:
“I urge all independent pharmacists to get on board,” Roberts said. “Adoption of electronic prescribing is a critical step in moving the pharmacy profession forward.”
Wait, let me fix the quote so it reflects the writing on the wall:
“I urge all independent pharmacies to get on board. Adoption of electronic prescribing will make NCPA and myself NOTHING BUT LOTS OF MONEY HAHAHAHAHA! *ahem* This is a good step forward for patient safety and moving the profession (retail is still around?) forward!”
SureScripts and ePrescribing is a solution in search of a problem. This is how I would fix it:
- Flat fee. Make it $50/month for unlimited transmissions. If you can’t do this then stop lobbying congress, you’ll save a bunch of money by doing that. Pharmacies are not going to shell out an extra $3-4k/month (unless you’re forced to by AmerisourceBergen) for the “privilege” of receiving what they got for free.
- Publish standard drug/sig codes and influence software vendors to work that into their software. If we have to retype ANYTHING coming from and eRx, then its not worth a damn thing to us. This includes typos from the doctors office.
- Don’t be such a douchebag money-grubbing company that is making up a problem to fix with its own expensive solution.
Pharmacy has existed for hundreds of years with sloppy handwriting. Why try to reinvent something better than will just end up being more expensive and more costly than an Rx pad and a fax machine. I wonder what the legal fallout will be when we get mistakes injected directly into our pharmacy software vs putting them in ourselves.