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AMA wants carrots, but not sticks, for e-prescribing

Executive Summary

The American Medical Association should lobby against any legislation that would reduce Medicare or Medicaid payments to physicians who do not adopt electronic prescribing, the group's House of Delegates resolved during their June 14-18 annual meeting. Medicare bonuses for adopting e-prescribing and penalties for not using it are a key element of separate Medicare physician bills drafted by both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, Iowa (1"The Pink Sheet," June 16, 2008, p. 10). While not actively endorsing e-prescribing, the delegates agreed to advocate financial and other incentives for adoption and efforts to remove barriers to its use, such DEA prohibitions on e-prescribing of controlled substances and a Medicaid requirement that physicians write in their own hand when a brand drug is medically necessary. The physician group also resolves to work with federal and private entities to ensure universal acceptance of electronic prescriptions by pharmacies
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