New Data from Surescripts Shows That Patients Are Getting More Affordable Prescriptions Faster and with Less Hassle

Prescriber Adoption of EHR-Integrated Tool Surges 1,338 Percent in 12

ORLANDO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#EHRlt;/agt;–Providers nationwide are increasingly adopting prescription price
transparency tools at the point of care to positively impact the quality
of U.S. healthcare, according to the new Surescripts 2018
Impact Report: Prescription Price Transparency.
Given the rising
cost of prescription drugs, arming prescribers with patient-specific
price information at the point of care is increasingly critical to the
quality and safety of patient care.

From 2017 to 2018, provider adoption of Real-Time Prescription Benefit
grew by 1,338 percent. And the monthly number of benefit checks
performed by these prescribers at the point of care surged from 298,000
in January 2018 to 6.3 million in December 2018. This growth was driven
by the fact that most electronic health records (EHR) vendors,
representing 80 percent of all prescribers nationwide, have chosen to
implement Real-Time
Prescription Benefit
. With connections to the country’s leading
pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), prescribers can use the service,
integrated with their EHR, to access accurate, patient-specific
information for 76 percent of all U.S. patients.

“In 2018, the Surescripts Network Alliance™ demonstrated the value of
delivering accurate and patient-specific medication cost information at
the point of care, helping providers work with their patients to make
better-informed medication choices,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive
Officer of Surescripts. “With prescription price transparency tools at
their fingertips, prescribers are eliminating pharmacy callbacks,
improving medication adherence and reducing costs. And their patients
are getting the medications they need, at an affordable price, faster
and with less hassle.”

As a result, many prescribers delivered measurable cost savings to their
patients in 2018. The leading specialties utilizing Real-Time
Prescription Benefit to inform the prescribing process included family
practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and
cardiology. On average, psychiatrists saved patients the most, at $228
per prescription.

Medications in some therapeutic classes delivered more savings than
others. For example, when presented with lower-cost alternatives,
prescribers used Real-Time Prescription Benefit to save their patients
an average of $105 per prescription for antidepressants and $88 per
prescription of blood glucose-lowering medication (excluding insulin).

“The real value that this tool provides is the ability to make a more
informed prescription decision and to be able to set expectations up
front,” said Dr. Michael Sherling, Chief Medical and Strategy Officer at
Modernizing Medicine and a practicing dermatologist. “The impact we’re
having with prescription price transparency is an exciting demonstration
of what technology can deliver when the right areas of healthcare are
convened, aligned and working together to fix a major problem facing
patients and providers.”

Prescribers are also saving time by using Real-Time Prescription Benefit
alongside Electronic Prior Authorization, and in many cases avoiding the
notoriously frustrating and burdensome manual prior authorization
process altogether. According to the American Medical Association’s 2017
Prior Authorization Physician Survey
, the majority of clinicians—64
percent—reported waiting at least one day on average for prior
authorization processing. But when prescribers using Real-Time
Prescription Benefit were presented with a prescription requiring prior
authorization, along with an alternative without a prior authorization,
prescribers switched the drug 28 percent of the time. This eliminated
more than 158,000 hours of potential wait time in December 2018.

Electronic Prior Authorization integrates directly with EHRs and
delivers prior authorizations in real time at the point of care within
minutes in most cases. As of the end of 2018, EHRs representing 77
percent of prescribers had signed on for Surescripts Electronic Prior
Authorization. The top five specialties that used the solution in 2018
include family practice, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics and

According to the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
, prescription spending is
projected to grow by an average of 6.3 percent annually between 2017 and
2026. This is higher than the projected 5.5 percent average yearly
growth rate of healthcare spending overall. These increased costs are
having a direct impact on prescription abandonment. In fact, a study in
the American
Journal of Managed Care
found that even a $10 difference in copay
can increase medication non-adherence by up to 10 percent. In other
words, the higher the cost, the likelier it is that patients will have
to choose between taking their medications as prescribed and using those
funds for other essential expenses.

The Surescripts 2018
Impact Report: Prescription Price Transparency
will be highlighted
at HIMSS19.
On February 13, Tom Skelton will join Dr. Troyen Brennan, Executive Vice
President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health, and Dr. Steve Miller,
Chief Clinical Officer of Cigna, on stage to discuss improving
healthcare by making prescription drug cost and benefit plan information
available at the point of care. HIMSS will stream the session live online.

To learn more about the impact prescription price transparency is having
on the cost, quality and safety of healthcare, download and share the 2018
Impact Report: Prescription Price Transparency

About Surescripts

Our purpose is to serve the nation with the single most trusted and
capable health information network, built to increase patient safety,
lower costs and ensure quality care. Since 2001, Surescripts has led the
movement to turn data into actionable intelligence and convened the

Surescripts Network Alliance™ to enhance prescribing, inform care
decisions and advance the healthcare industry. Visit us at
and follow us at


Kelly Jeffers
(571) 384-4776