CMS proposes rule change for computer-generated prescription faxes

August 9, 0007

Baltimore - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed the revocation of a rule that has allowed doctors sending Medicare prescriptions from their computers to use computer-generated faxes rather than digital data, news source Govhealthit.com reports.

Baltimore - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed the revocation of a rule that has allowed doctors sending Medicare prescriptions from their computers to use computer-generated faxes rather than digital data, news source Govhealthit.com reports.

CMS does not require doctors to use e-prescribing, but when they generate and send Medicare Part D prescriptions electronically, they must comply with standards issued in November 2005 by the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Script rule for transmissions.

The agency has allowed an exemption for computer-generated faxes since the e-prescribing rule took effect Jan. 1, 2006. However, it now has announced plans to eliminate that exemption as of Jan. 1, 2008.

“CMS expected that entities using computer-generated fax software would adopt the use of the Script standard over time, but this has not occurred to date,” a CMS fact sheet states. “CMS expects the impact on prescribers to be minimal.”

The CMS fact sheet states that faxes received at a pharmacy must be entered manually into the pharmacy’s computer system, a step that takes time and can permit errors.

CMS is accepting comments on its proposed rule change until Aug. 31.