Detroit - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, will extend an e-prescribing partnership with the nation's three largest U.S. automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler Corp., the companies announced today. The Southeast Michigan e-Prescribing Initiative (SEMI), which is designed to reduce medication errors and decrease prescription drug costs through the use of e-prescribing technology, will be in effect for an additional year.

In February of 2005 Detroit-based Blue Cross, which provides or administers health care benefits to more than 4.7 million members through a variety of plans, joined with the automakers and Detroit-based Henry Ford Medical Group, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), and pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions, Inc. to launch the SEMI pilot program. Since then, more than 1,400 physicians have joined SEMI and preliminary results show significant improvements in their generic drug prescribing rates, formulary compliance, as well as reductions in adverse drug events due to prescribing errors.

The HAP/Henry Ford Medical Group pilot project's 600 participating physicians have written one million e-prescriptions, and to date report:

* More than 98,000 prescriptions were changed or cancelled due to drug-to-drug interaction alerts;

* More than 63,000 prescriptions were changed or canceled due to formulary alerts, which increased the use of generic drugs;

* By improving generic use rates, saving staff time and reducing medication errors, e-prescribing is projected to save Henry Ford more than $1 million per year beginning in 2006.

In the coming year, the SEMI partners will focus on accelerating physician adoption of electronic prescribing by adopting best practices and key lessons learned. To further simplify the program, the number of technology vendors is being reduced and the program will increase the financial incentives for physicians to implement and use the technology in their practice.

SOURCE: PRNewswire

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