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In October, it got a lot easier for WellSpan Health doctors to see how much the medications they’re prescribing might cost patients.

Leaders described an upgrade through the electronic health record system Epic that now automatically alerts doctors if price-conscious patients might pay less using a different pharmacy or mail-order service.

“That prompts a discussion with the patient,” said Dr. Robert Lackey of WellSpan Family Medicine Dallastown, noting that the decision often depends on how much money switching might save.

The information’s not always available, but Dr. Daniel Fischman, WellSpan’s associate chief medical information officer, said when it is people seem to appreciate it.

“We know it’s something that’s important to our patients,” he said of drug costs.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health has similar functionality in Epic, but UPMC Pinnacle does not offer the service, according to system spokeswomen.


Learn more

Kaiser Health News has a lot more information on these programs, their limitations, and efforts to expand them in this story, How To Get A Cheaper Prescription Before Leaving The Doctor’s Office.