DETROIT, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Six years ago, before smartphones were a veritable cornerstone of daily life, a few hundred physicians in Southeast Michigan joined an initiative to begin using similar handheld devices in an effort to more safely and efficiently prescribe medications for their patients.
Today, the Steering Committee of the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative (SEMI) reports that more than 7,500 physicians in the area are actively prescribing in the program – a 33 percent increase from a year ago – and have submitted more than 40 million electronic prescriptions since the program began in 2005. Due to this success, SEMI will continue supporting physicians in the practice of ePrescribing for a seventh consecutive year to ensure optimal use of ePrescribing and to maximize the quality and safety benefits as well as the cost savings they provide.
"In 2005, this diverse group of stakeholders came together for the common goal of improving the safety and efficiency of prescribing for physicians and patients. We created SEMI to help advance the implementation of clinical technology in the physician office setting starting with ePrescribing, and each year, we are encouraged and excited to see that the program is making a profound and positive impact on our health care system," said Marsha Manning, Manager, Health Care Plans, General Motors. "While we are making great strides, we still have more work to do to insure that ePrescribing is optimized. We look forward to harnessing the momentum we have with SEMI to achieve this important goal."
SEMI was launched in 2005 to promote ePrescribing among physicians in Southeast Michigan. The coalition includes: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group LLC, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, Henry Ford Medical Group, Medco Health Solutions, Inc., CVS Caremark Corporation and Catalyst Rx.
SEMI provides doctors with training and a support system to help integrate ePrescribing into their practice – two obstacles routinely cited by doctors who choose paper prescriptions over electronic prescriptions.
"SEMI's growth and success over the past six years is a testament to the design of the program, which balances support and training with a physician's own investment in the technology. This formula is working, and is a win for patients, physicians and payors," said John Driscoll, President, New Markets at Medco and Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at SureScripts. "With the requirements and incentives to use electronic prescribing in the Medicare Part D legislation and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, doctors need programs like SEMI more than ever to help them make ePrescribing the standard of care."
Since July 2011 electronic prescription volume among physicians in SEMI routinely surpasses 1 million each month. An analysis conducted in December 2011 on a sample of 23 million prescriptions written by SEMI physicians since the program began also found:
- A severe or moderate drug-to-drug alert was sent to physicians for more than 6.2 million prescriptions, resulting in 1.8 million (or 28 percent) of those prescriptions being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor;
- Physicians received nearly 923,000 medication allergy alerts, resulting in more than 250,000 (or 27 percent) of those prescriptions being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor;
- 8.2 million lists of dispensed prescription histories were downloaded by physicians; and
- When a formulary alert was presented, physicians changed the prescription to comply with formulary requirements 28 percent of the time.
"My colleague and I use ePrescribing for nearly all of the medications we prescribe for our patients, and it has significantly reduced the time we spend writing prescriptions. We spend less time on phone calls related to the medications we prescribe, and it has made it easier for our office staff to manage refills for our patients," said Dr. Kevin Frankel, a family practitioner in Oakland Southfield Physicians, PC, and SEMI participant. "This technology also helps us better understand what our patients are taking, and if they are using their medications properly and as often as they should, which leads to better care and fewer errors –both of which are valuable features for our busy practice."
Launched in early 2005, the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative is one of the largest ePrescribing efforts in the United States. Its primary objectives are to boost adoption and use of ePrescribing, and measure the impact of ePrescribing technology on improving patient safety and reducing prescription drug costs. For more information, go to www.semi-eprescribing.com.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Durango, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
About the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust
The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the 'Trust') is a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association established under the 2007 Settlement Agreements between the General Motors/Ford/Chrysler and the UAW. Launched in January 2010, the Trust administers health care benefits to over 800,000 members through the operation of three separate trust funds for respective retirees of each automotive company; making it the largest non-governmental purchaser of retiree health care in the United States.
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 648,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to improve the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, and personalized customer service. The National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded HAP's commercial HMO and HAP Senior Plus Excellent Accreditation.
About Henry Ford Medical Group
The Henry Ford Medical Group is one of the nation's largest group practices, with 1,200 physicians and researchers in more than 40 specialties who staff Henry Ford Hospital and 30 Henry Ford medical centers in Southeast Michigan. It is part of Henry Ford Health System (http://www.henryford.com/), one of the country's leading health care systems, that integrates primary and specialty care with research and education.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to nearly 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States with integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care. We are a pharmacy innovation company, uniquely positioned to engage plan members in behaviors that improve their health and to lower overall health care costs for health plans, plan sponsors and their members. CVS Caremark is a market leader in mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail clinics, and is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), we provide access to a network of more than 65,000 pharmacies, including more than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy® stores that provide unparalleled service and capabilities. Our clinical offerings include our signature Pharmacy Advisor™ program as well as innovative generic step therapy and genetic benefit management programs that promote more cost effective and healthier behaviors and improve health care outcomes.
General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Company's website at http://info.cvscaremark.com.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for millions of Americans.
With more than 20,000 employees dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2011 revenues of $70 billion, Medco ranks 34th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.
For more information, go to http://www.medcohealth.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.