February 01, 2011 08:38 ET

2010 Recap: NCPDP Improves the Way Healthcare Is Delivered, One Standard at a Time

Orchestrating Accredited Standards Development Is a Behind-the-Scenes Job Taken on by Volunteers Representing Every Stakeholder Group in the Industry; The Results -- Improved Patient Safety, Care, and Enhanced Collaboration and Coordination Among Stakeholders

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - February 1, 2011) - The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), a not-for-profit pharmacy standards development organization, acknowledged today its outstanding achievements in 2010, recognizing the efforts of its members in facilitating the development and adoption of ANSI-accredited standards that have transformed the pharmacy industry for more than 30 years. Among the most notable milestones from 2010 are:

  • ePrescribing -- The SCRIPT Standard, first published by NCPDP in 1997, was named by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a core requirement for achieving Meaningful Use.
  • Operating Rules Entity -- The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) recommended to HHS that NCPDP be formally named as an operating rules entity for retail pharmacy-related eligibility transactions, fulfilling the criteria established in HR 3590.
  • Medicare Coverage Gap Discount -- NCPDP developed a framework to ensure that the Medicare Part D drug discount, which is available to Medicare beneficiaries in the "donut hole," can be processed seamlessly and in a timely manner for all stakeholders.
  • Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) -- NCPDP created a REMS solution for pharmacists and drug manufacturers based on its Telecommunication Standard to minimize the impact of REMS on workflow processes while mitigating medication risks.
  • Industry Education and Collaboration -- For the second consecutive year in a depressed economy, NCPDP posted record attendance at its Annual Technology and Business Conference. In addition to its Educational Programs, which offer both instructional and informative webinars and summits on hot topics, NCPDP increased its outreach to collaborate with other industry associations and governmental agencies.
  • Expansion -- NCPDP doubled the size of its corporate office to accommodate growth and provide more onsite meeting space for focus groups, board meetings and other industry forums.

Other ongoing initiatives involve updating NCPDP standards to support RxNorm, a valid code set for standardized medication nomenclature used in ePrescribing and electronic health records (EHRs); improving the efficiency of the payment and dispute processes for Medicaid Manufacturer Rebate reimbursement; and developing transaction standards to support accurate communication, documentation and measurement of Medication Therapy Management (MTM).

"It was an exciting year for NCPDP -- to see our work behind the scenes come to the forefront," stated Lee Ann Stember, President of NCPDP. "In the coming years we expect to see standards take center stage in healthcare as a means by which to achieve the interoperability required to improve care delivery and coordination, and patient health outcomes."

Founded in 1977, NCPDP is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, Standards Development Organization with over 1,600 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry. Our diverse membership provides leadership and healthcare business solutions through education and standards, created using the consensus building process. NCPDP has been named in federal legislation, including HIPAA, MMA, and HITECH. NCPDP members have created standards such as the Telecommunication Standard and Batch Standard, the SCRIPT Standard for e-Prescribing, the Manufacturers Rebate Standard and more to improve communication within the pharmacy industry. Our data services include the NCPDP Provider Identification Number, a unique identifier of over 75,000 pharmacies, and HCIdea, "The Prescriber Identity Solution." NCPDP's RxReconn™ is a legislative tracking product for real-time monitoring of pharmacy-related state and national legislative and regulatory activity. For more information about NCPDP Standards, Data Services, Products, Educational Programs and Work Group meetings, go online at or call (480) 477-1000.

Contact Information

    Janet Cabibbo
    Amendola Communications for NCPDP
    480-664-8412 ext. 15
    Email Contact