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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

Two technology companies offering solutions that embed electronic PA in e-prescribing process

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

In an effort to reduce the burden of dealing with health plans’ prior authorization requirements for certain prescription drugs, two technology companies, Surescripts and DrFirst, have been developing solutions that embed electronic prior authorization in the e-prescribing process. The companies note that this will allow physicians and their staff to request approval from pharmacy benefit managers and health plans inside their electronic medical records; in many cases they may receive electronic responses within minutes.

According to consultants and physicians, this approach could reduce the work and cost involved in prior authorizations and also increase patient satisfaction. Patients may be able to get a prescription approved when leaving the physician’s office, rather than waiting for a day or two. Physicians will also be able to find out which drugs require prior authorization, allowing them to inform patients in advance.

“From the patient’s point of view, this will be much better,” Miami gastroenterologist James Leavitt, M.D., said in the Medical Economics article. “It will set their expectations, because they’ll know what’s going on.”

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