To better serve its health plan clients, AdvancePCS is developing technology that uses handheld and other computing devices to provide physicians with access to formulary guidelines, patient drug histories, drug interaction information, and alternate therapy choices.
By making it convenient for physicians to obtain this information before a prescription is written, patient care and service can be improved. It also can result in reduced costs for health plans and lower co-pays for patients when physicians know which drug is the most cost effective.
"Enhancing communications with physicians using wireless and on-line technology holds great promise for improving patient health", stated Jon S. Halbert, vice chairman of AdvancePCS. "We are committed to finding new and innovative ways to support physicians with information which can result in increased safety, greater efficiency, better health outcomes, and lower drug costs."
Ultimately, the technology will allow physicians to transmit prescriptions electronically to the patient's pharmacy through RxHub, the company's electronic exchange joint venture. RxHub was formed last year by AdvancePCS, Express Scripts, and Merck-Medco Managed Care to facilitate the routing of electronic prescriptions and related information.
In addition to purchasing assets, AdvancePCS will continue to support the network of approximately 5000 physicians who currently use iScribe technology and systems. "We value the insight these physicians provide and will continue to work with them to further the development of e-health services", noted Mr. Halbert.
AdvancePCS manages more than $21 billion in annual prescription drug spending. AdvancePCS offers health plans a wide range of health improvement products and services designed to improve the quality of care delivered to health plan members and manage costs.
The company's capabilities include integrated mail service and retail pharmacy networks, innovative clinical services, customised disease management programmes, speciality pharmacy, clinical trials and outcomes research, information management, prescription drug services for the uninsured, and on-line health information for consumers.
AdvancePCS clients include Blue Cross and Blue Shield organisations, insurance companies and HMOs, state and local governments, and other health plan sponsors. More company news is available in the VMW June 2001 article AdvancePCS and Tufts Health Plan sponsor PDA-equipped physicians in electronic prescription pilot.