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Zix Corporation, Aetna Announce Three-Year e-Prescribing Contract

Zix Corporation (Dallas), provider of hosted services for email encryption and e-prescribing, has entered into a three-year e-prescribing agreement for northern New Jersey with Hartford-based Aetna.

Under the agreement, certain primary care physicians in northern New Jersey will be eligible to receive a free e-prescribing device and associated connectivity services. Under this new agreement, over 1000 physicians are eligible for participation and Aetna estimates that 40,000 members in northern New Jersey could benefit from this program.

E-prescribing devices provide physicians with access to health plan formulary and drug interaction information, and electronically submit prescriptions to the patient's preferred pharmacy. Benefits include helping to reduce prescribing errors, and saving members the time of having to drop off hand-written prescriptions at the pharmacy.

This new contract follows an existing and successful relationship between ZixCorp and Aetna that began with an e-prescribing pilot program in 2005 in New Jersey, followed by New York and Connecticut in 2007.

"E-prescribing allows us to provide doctors with access to timely information, allowing real-time decision support to occur at the point of care, such as formulary information and potential adverse drug interactions that ultimately help doctors lower a member's out of pocket costs and promote patient safety," said Thomas Howe, MD, Aetna medical director, northern New Jersey. "Increasing and supporting physician use of new administrative technologies will bring universal, proven benefits to everyone in the health care system, and we are pleased that this relationship with ZixCorp helps bring this technology to our network providers in Northern New Jersey."

The new agreement between Aetna and ZixCorp follows the recent introduction of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA). This new legislation recognizes the positive impact of e-prescribing on patient safety and the cost of healthcare and provides meaningful incentives to physicians to begin using e-prescribing by January 1, 2009. These incentives are critical to the adoption and ongoing usage of e-prescribing but do not address the upfront cost of technology acquisition and implementation.

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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