Zix Corporation and Aetna Announce Three-Year e-Prescribing Contract
Healthcare leaders move beyond pilots and pursue real-time decision support at the point of care to increase patient safety and efficiencies
Zix Corporation (ZixCorp®), (Nasdaq: ZIXI), the leader in hosted services for email encryption and e-prescribing, and Aetna (NYSE: AET), one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, announced today that they have entered into a new three-year e-prescribing agreement for northern New Jersey.
Under the agreement, certain primary care physicians in northern New Jersey will be eligible to receive, at no charge, an e-prescribing device and associated connectivity services. E-prescribing devices provide physicians with access to health plan formulary and drug interaction information, and electronically submit prescriptions to the patient’s preferred pharmacy, helping to reduce prescribing errors, and saving members the time of having to drop off hand-written prescriptions at the pharmacy.
This new contract follows an existing and successful relationship between ZixCorp and Aetna that began with an e-prescribing pilot program in 2005 in New Jersey, followed by New York and Connecticut in 2007.
Under this new agreement, over 1000 physicians are eligible for participation and Aetna estimates that 40,000 members in northern New Jersey could benefit from this program.
“E-prescribing allows us to provide doctors with access to timely information, allowing real-time decision support to occur at the point of care, such as formulary information and potential adverse drug interactions that ultimately help doctors lower a member’s out of pocket costs and promote patient safety,” said Thomas Howe, MD, Aetna medical director, northern New Jersey. “Increasing and supporting physician use of new administrative technologies will bring universal, proven benefits to everyone in the health care system, and we are pleased that this relationship with ZixCorp helps bring this technology to our network providers in Northern New Jersey.”
The new agreement between Aetna and ZixCorp follows the recent introduction of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA). This new legislation recognizes the positive impact of e-prescribing on patient safety and the cost of healthcare and provides meaningful incentives to physicians to begin using e-prescribing by January 1, 2009. These incentives are critical to the adoption and ongoing usage of e-prescribing but do not address the upfront cost of technology acquisition and implementation.
“I knew that e-prescribing was something that eventually everyone would be doing and now with the CMS requirements it looks like that day has arrived,” said Robert Boyd, M.D., Woodbridge Medical Group. “I’m pleased to be one of the original members of the Aetna e-prescribing program in New Jersey, I appreciate Aetna’s leadership.”
“Aetna’s actions demonstrate their in-depth understanding of the strategic power of an e-prescribing platform.” said Rick Spurr, chief executive officer for ZixCorp. “We applaud the Aetna leadership team for their vision. Aetna clearly understands the need to have payor funding act as the catalyst to unlocking e-prescribing value, and ultimately providing a mechanism for real-time decision support at the point of care. We view this evolution beyond the pilot phase as validation of our tireless focus on the payor-funded model and a turning point in our relationship with Aetna. We’re confident that we’ve introduced a model that sets the stage for broader adoption.”
ZixCorp’s high-touch, turnkey approach tailored specifically to smaller practices is ideal for this type of comprehensive program. The service includes installation of the necessary wireless infrastructure in the physician’s office, the secure extraction and loading of the necessary patient data into the system and providing both a handheld PDA for ease of use as the doctor visits patients throughout the office and a desktop solution typically used by the physician’s staff for renewal processing. The comprehensive solution is also packaged with onsite training and ongoing live support.
ZixCorp focuses on bringing its e-prescribing service to primary care physicians across the country, with a particular emphasis on small practices of 5 physicians or less. The company has had unmatched success in getting adoption and utilization in the smaller practice segment, which represents 75 percent of the total market of high prescribers.
ZixCorp’s PocketScript® e-prescribing service enables physicians to order prescriptions through a secure wireless mobile PDA or secure Web site and deliver them electronically to the patient’s preferred pharmacy. Mobility enables PocketScript to provide clinical decision support at the point-of-care with real-time access to a drug reference guide as well as patient-level eligibility, formulary, and co-pay information to aid the prescriber in selecting the most cost-effective prescription based on the patient’s benefits. The application also provides comprehensive drug-to-drug and drug-to-allergy interaction alerts based on patient-specific dispensed drug history. Through our partnership with SureScripts/RxHub, PocketScript delivers end-to-end connectivity within the healthcare system to reduce unnecessary costs, improve patient safety and convenience, and enhance practice efficiency.
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