GM, Medscape Launch Joint Plan for Electronic Prescriptions
To cut health care costs and the number of medical errors, General Motors Corp. and MedicaLogic/Medscape Inc. are joining forces to promote Medscape's electronic prescriptions and medical records systems, the Wall Street Journal reports (Wall Street Journal, 1/26). Medscape plans in April to market new software which will enable physicians to write prescriptions and download pharmaceutical reference tools for hand-held devices (Suhr, AP/Akron Beacon Journal, 1/26). Under the three-year arrangement between GM and Medscape, 6,000 doctors in cities "where GM has large numbers of employees or retirees" would receive the hand-held units (Wall Street Journal, 1/26). About 1,000 doctors also will be given Logician, Medscape's electronic medical records system. In return, GM will be awarded five million shares of Medscape stock (AP/Akron Beacon Journal, 1/26). Neither company would comment on the cost of the project, but the companies reported that they would "contribute about equally" to the plan(Wall Street Journal, 1/26). Jim Cubbin, head of health care initiatives at GM, said that the Medscape system's potential to cut prescription drug costs and medical errors "will offset the costs." He added, "Health care is more than just a benefit at GM; it's a cause. GM believes the only solution to reducing the costs is improving the technologies" (AP/Akron Beacon Journal, 1/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.