July 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rhina Villatoro 202-434-8070
NHCSL CALLS FOR STATES TO ADOPT ELECTRONIC PRIOR AUTHORIZATION/E-PRESCRIBING LEGISLATION
E-Prescribing helps save lives, addresses disparities for Hispanics
Washington, DC, July 7, 2011 – NHCSL, the nonpartisan, national organization representing the interests of over 300 Hispanic state legislators across the country, calls for state leadership in adopting Electronic Health Records and E-Prescribing technology. “E-prescribing saves lives and increases the quality of care," says Senator Iris Y. Martinez (IL), NHCSL President.
States like North Dakota have already adopted laws that leverage technology to increase quality of care by allowing electronic prior authorization for physicians. Electronic prior authorization (ERx) is the ability to send prescriptions from providers to the pharmacy electronically. ERx may help reduce medication error caused by illegible handwriting, misinterpreted abbreviations or doses, and miscommunication between practitioners and pharmacists. ERx also enables automated decision support including medication lists, prior authorization, formulary coverage, eligibility determination, and clinical decision support.
Congress required Medicare Part D plans to support ERx in 2003. "For Hispanics, these tools offer great opportunities to increase quality of life and get better health outcomes. NHCSL has long called for the implementation of better policy tools for closing health care disparities for Hispanics, said Senator Luz Z. Arce Ferre (PR), Chair of the NHCSL Health Taskforce. Enhanced E-prescribing and electronic prior authorization are examples of very good policy for our communities, as we have noted last year in resolution 2010-08.”
NHCSL supports bills such as North Dakota House Bill 1422 for its power in lessening barriers to care, increasing transparency, and enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. The bill takes special care to address the issues of prior electronic authorization that can be a barrier to information and care.
NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 300 Hispanic legislators.www.nhcsl.org.