AAFP Releases New Electronic Prescribing Resource

The American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) has created a new resource to help family physicians understand how they can earn a 1 percent incentive payment for electronic prescribing (e-Rx) in 2011 and avoid a 1 percent penalty in 2012. The three-page document lists three ways physicians can earn the e-Rx incentive, and four ways physicians can avoid the penalty.

The AAFP clarifies e-Rx requirements as such:

4 Ways to Avoid the Penalty 3 Ways to Earn the Incentive*
Jan. 1 – June 30,2011 Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2011
  1. Submit 10 Medicare Part B claims with code G8553 and a code for a service in the denominator on the same date.

(Even physicians who earn the e-Rx incentive by using the EHR or registry reporting options will be penalized if they do not submit 10 claims prior to 6/30/11.)

  1. Report 1 claim with code G8644 to indicate that you do not have prescribing privileges.
  2. Report 1 claim with code G8642 to request a hardship exception due to no high-speed internet availability
  3. Report 1 claim with G8643 to request a hardship exception due to lack of pharmacies in the area that are able to receive e-Rx.
  1. Submit 25 Medicare Part B claims with code G8553 (10 of these claims could be the ones submitted prior to June 30 to avoid the penalty.)
  2. Submit data for this period from a CMS-selected EHR during the first quarter of 2012
  3. Submit data for this period through a CMS-selected registry during the first quarter of 2012 (Data may be entered into the registry at any time during the period.)

*Earning an incentive in 2011 will also exempt you from a penalty in 2013.

The AAFP document also provides answers to commonly asked questions, such as:

  • What is code G8553, and when do I report it?
  • What are the denominator codes?
  • What is a qualified e-Rx system?
  • Does the penalty apply to all physicians and non-physician professionals?
  • Does participation in the Medicare EHR incentive program exempt me from the penalty?

Download the eRxtips document from the AAFP website.

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