eScript fee claims now in real time only

The 15c electronic prescription fee for pharmacists can only be claimed through PBS Online from April 1.

Real-time online claiming for the fee was introduced by Medicare on July 1 2011 but a transition period was introduced to allow the claim to continue to be processed manually.

That transition period finishes on 31 March and the system will now be fully automatic.

The 15c fee for electronic prescriptions was negotiated under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. The electronic claiming solution lets pharmacies claim the fee at the same time the prescription claim is transmitted to Medicare Australia via PBS Online.

As of 1 April, the fee will be assessed and paid in real time, meaning pharmacists will no longer need to print, sign and submit paper claim forms in order to receive payment.

Jason Bratuskins, a pharmacist and product manager for the eRx national electronic prescriptions exchange system, said ePrescribing was vital in supporting the work of pharmacy and health professionals, and in keeping pharmacy part of connected health teams.

“With the launch of automatic online claiming through PBS Online, eScripts will become even easier for pharmacy, and this can only mean that more of the benefits of greater patient care and safety and dispensing efficiency will be passed on to patients and professionals,” Mr Bratuskins said.

Roger Boot, eRx's vendor relationship manager, said all dispensing software systems using eRX are now capable of automatic claiming through PBS Online along with the vast majority of prescribing software.

Mr Boot said three of the most prevalent prescribing software solutions in Australia – Medical Director, Best Practice and Zedmed – have the capability, with the others to follow.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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