PHARMACY

Mass. BCBS, Zix use e-prescribing to enroll patients in disease management program

BY Drew Buono

BOSTON Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Zix have joined together to conduct a program to enroll eligible patients in chronic care through e-prescribing alerts, according to published reports.

Zix’s PocketScript e-prescribing service will be used in the program to alert physicians at the point of care that a patient may be eligible for enrollment in BCBSMA’s disease management program.

Rick Spurr, chief executive officer of Zix, said PocketScript’s new alert application will allow a more timely intervention in chronic care cases. It also allows patients to enroll while they are most likely to be willing and they can discuss the matter on the spot with their physician.

“Together with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, we believe that the country’s largest e-prescribing network can be leveraged to provide additional value to the prescribers, further increase patient safety and reduce overall healthcare costs to payors, physicians and patients,” Spurr said. “The disease management feature is an example of how e-prescribing can be the platform for introducing the benefits of healthcare information technology to physicians, especially those in smaller or rural practices that otherwise don’t have access to such technology.”

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PHARMACY

Boom in pharmacy openings leads to shortage of pharmacists

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and ST. LOUIS, Ill. Pharmacies are booming in business and as a result new stores are being built at a rapid pace, so much so that there aren’t enough pharmacists to fill the new job openings, according to published reports.

According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, there were 3,600 full-time openings for pharmacists throughout the nation last year reported by 37,000 member stores.

The reasons for the shortage, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association, are changes in insurance policies and federal regulations, which have made drugs more available to people. Also, the number of prescriptions being dispensed has grown from 2 billion to 3.2 billion in the last decade.

In Illinois, the state is trying to solve the shortage by opening more pharmacy schools. “I think a lot of new schools coming on board here will help alleviate the problem,” Phil Medon, dean of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, said. “We haven’t had any graduates, yet, but long-term expansion at existing schools—plus new schools—are designed to help alleviate the shortage.”

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MTBC receives Microsoft partner honor

BY Drew Buono

SOMERSET, N.J. MTBC, an information technology company has received the distinguished Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program. The company focuses on revenue cycle management and electronic medical record solutions.

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, MTBC has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and platforms. MTBC’s IT staff has successfully completed a series of examinations demonstrating the company’s competency and aptitude in utilizing and delivering Microsoft’s advanced technologies. MTBC gains access to a rich set of tools designed to help its physician clients realize improved billing and practice management solutions.

“We are very pleased to have attained Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status,” said David Rosenblum, president of MTBC. “Our Microsoft gold certification further distinguishes us from our competition. It will assist us as continue to leverage technology and deliver Internet-based revenue cycle and practice management services that enable medical providers to streamline and increase collections, while reducing associated costs.”

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