New Report Shows E-Prescribing Legislation Could Save Taxpayers $13 Billion

WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2018): An independent cost estimate prepared by Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance shows that H.R. 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act could save taxpayers $13 billion over the next decade while reducing total National Health Expenditures (NHE) - which include costs to states and private payers - by $22 billion during the same timeframe. 

The legislation, introduced by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), would require electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) within Medicare’s prescription drug program with certain exceptions. It is slated for consideration in a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee markup today, alongside several other proposals supported by Opioid Safety Alliance members, including the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act (H.R. 4841), the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (H.R. 3545),and legislation expanding access to treatment via telehealth for victims of opioid use disorder. 

The Alliance's cost estimate of H.R. 3528 was prepared by Health IT Now Chief Economist Jeff Lemieux, a former senior analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, and is based in part on the results of a similar electronic prescribing law in New York. 

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement on the findings:

"E-Prescribing is not only sound policy - as it would generate real-time information on each opioid prescription that can be used to combat fraudulent, duplicative scripts - our study shows it would also generate significant savings to taxpayers that can be reinvested in the fight against this devastating public health crisis. As lawmakers consider further measures to prevent and treat opioid abuse, EPCS offers a win-win solution that all sides can embrace. We urge Congress to include this needed reform as part of any comprehensive opioid package brought up for a vote on the House floor," said Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White.

To read the full cost estimate of H.R. 3528, click here

About Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance:
Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance is a working group of prescribers, dispensers, professional societies, and patients advocating for the use of technology to fight illegitimate opioid use. Learn more about the Alliance's membership and priorities here