THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., April 29, 2004 — WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced their selection of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (Nasdaq: MDRX) and Zix Corp. (ZixCorp) (Nasdaq: ZIXI) to provide electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) solutions for a technology initiative WellPoint announced in January. A recent report produced by the Foundation for eHealth Initiative estimates that nationwide implementation of e-prescribing technologies could save the healthcare system $29 billion a year by reducing medication errors, decreasing duplication of services and increasing use of generic drugs, ultimately improving the quality of patient care.
The Prescription Improvement Package is part of the $40 million initiative. It offers physicians a wireless, handheld electronic prescribing unit, a wireless access point and a one-year subscription to an e-prescribing service, all of which will allow physicians to electronically generate prescriptions while reducing administrative costs and improving their communications with patients and pharmacists. Using the Prescription Improvement Package, physicians can easily write prescriptions that can be electronically transmitted to the pharmacy of their choice. Almost 19,000 contracting WellPoint network physicians in California, Georgia, Missouri and Wisconsin have been invited to participate in this program, which is entirely funded by WellPoint. There is no charge to the physicians.
“With its rapid rise in market demand over the past year, we believe that e-prescribing will be the tool that convinces the medical community of the rising importance of integrated point-of-care systems in increasing safety and reducing workflow bottlenecks,” said Amith Viswanathan, industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan.
Microsoft’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Group, acting as WellPoint’s technology consultant, assisted in the vendor selection process. The companies agreed that Allscripts and ZixCorp offer the best combination of e-prescribing service, customer support, training and platform infrastructure upon which to base the healthcare technology investment. Leveraging the familiar look and feel of the Microsoft®
product set, including Windows MobileTM software, Allscripts and ZixCorp will enable physicians to implement the e-prescribing solutions through their existing information technology infrastructures.
“WellPoint has long acknowledged the need to help improve quality and create efficiencies that reduce costs,” said Leonard D. Schaeffer, chairman and chief executive officer of WellPoint. “We believe this initiative has the potential to drive powerful change to doctors and patients by improving physician connectivity, reducing the administrative burden, cost and paperwork, and helping to improve patient safety and service.”
“Microsoft is impressed with the innovative e-prescribing solutions offered by Allscripts and ZixCorp,” said Steve Shihadeh, general manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Microsoft. “Working together with Microsoft’s proven, cost-effective platform technology, these ISV solutions have the potential to increase physician productivity and efficiency and significantly improve communications between doctors, patients, pharmacies and healthcare benefit plans.”
WellPoint Health Networks Inc. serves the health care needs of approximately 15.4 million medical members and approximately 46 million specialty members nationwide through Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, HealthLink and UNICARE. Visit WellPoint on the web at www.wellpoint.com. Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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