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DMEScripts adds muscle behind e-prescribing

DMEScripts adds muscle behind e-prescribing

INDIANAPOLIS – The founding investors behind DMEscripts believe their unique alliance will make a big difference in selling referral sources on e-prescribing, an obstacle to adoption so far. 

Apria Healthcare, Lincare, AdaptHealth and Rotech Healthcare, along with AAHomecare and VGM & Associates, launched DMEscripts, an industry backed e-prescribing platform that’s open to any provider, in September. 

“That’s the thesis under the whole thing,” said Dan Starck, CEO of Apria and chair of the DMEscripts board of directors. “If you take any individual market and you have the four nationals there and then three, four or five strong local and regional companies – that’s a significant group saying to prescribers, ‘We’re all in (on e-prescribing).’” 

DME specific e-prescribing platforms have been around for several years – Apria launched DMEhub, the foundation for DMEscripts, back in 2018 – but the percentage of orders processed through these platforms is still hovering in the single digits, investors estimate. 

Investors believe the alliance will also make a difference in encouraging other HME providers on e-prescribing – another obstacle – because it gives them the ability to drive more of the messaging. 

“This is about providers out there promoting this, instead of a software company trying to push it out,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates.  

Additionally, the alliance model behind DMEscripts means a variety of stakeholders will determine what future enhancements to e-prescribing will look like. 

“We have a platform that works today, but we plan to continue to develop it in multiple ways – integration into more EMRs, backing it into more billing systems and handling more payer rules,” Starck said. “We have a very specific roadmap to development and that’s something that will be shared with investors, the board of directors and an advisory board, who will have direct involvement on where the investments will go.” 

The benefits of e-prescribing are, by this point, well known: DMEscripts, for one, boasts that 95% of its orders are complete and accepted the first time, which speeds up everything from the patient getting equipment to the provider getting paid. So, anything that helps to remove obstacles to the adoption of any e-prescribing platform, not just DMEscripts, is key, investors say. 

“We’re not here to displace other e-prescribing platforms; we’re here to convert non-users,” Starck said. “When we step out of the public health emergency, which isn’t going to last forever, there are so many friction points in the DME referral process that can be eliminated with e-prescribing. Long term, we have a process-compressed environment that needs this kind of efficiency.” 

Investors would like to see the percentage of orders processed through e-prescribing platforms jump to 25% in a few years. 

“We’re bullish on e-prescribing,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “Adoption has been slow, but we need to get rid of the fax machine and the back and forth and take cost of out the process, and this is our opportunity to do that.”


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