Press Release Details

Quest Diagnostics Empowers the Nation's Physicians to Immediately Embrace ePrescribing

Company to Enable All Care360(TM) Labs & Meds Users to Use ePrescribing Feature; Invites All U.S. Physicians to Use Care360 ePrescribing Risk Free for Six Months

MADISON, N.J., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) today announced plans to make it easy for every physician in the United States to quickly embrace digital healthcare technology with a six-month, risk-free trial of its Care360(TM) ePrescribing service. For physicians currently using its Care360 Labs & Meds service, the company will activate the Care360 ePrescribing service for six months, risk free, enabling them to easily opt in and begin ePrescribing. The company is extending the same opportunity to any physician in the United States interested in trying ePrescribing in their practice without obligation. The offer is available to physicians who begin use of the Care360 ePrescribing service before December 18, 2009. Today, approximately 150,000, or more than 20 percent, of U.S. physicians are connected to Quest Diagnostics Care360 solutions.

"Quest Diagnostics shares the goal of many health care leaders to support physician adoption of ePrescribing, which has been shown to improve patient safety; reduce costs; save time spent charting, ordering and renewing prescriptions; and improve patient compliance with filling prescriptions, as well as their wait times at the pharmacy," said Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO, Quest Diagnostics. "Because we currently work with approximately half of all physicians and hospitals in the U.S., we are uniquely positioned to drive interest in this new technology, particularly among smaller and medium sized physician practices. We hope that this risk-free opportunity will convince our nation's doctors to try this new technology and join the thousands of Quest Diagnostics customers who today are already prescribing millions of medications electronically without major investments or changes to their work flow."

Care360 ePrescribing, which is certified by Surescripts(R), The Nation's E-Prescription Network((TM)), is a service in the Quest Diagnostics Care360 suite of health information technologies (HIT). Physicians who use Care360 ePrescribing can access formulary information, act upon Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts, handle refills, send and print prescriptions and take advantage of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incentives. Since December 2008, the number of medications written through Care360 ePrescribing has more than doubled to an annualized rate of 10 million.

"As a Surescripts Solution Provider, Quest Diagnostics is providing physicians using Care360 with a secure, electronic link to the nation's payers and pharmacies," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "In doing so, Quest Diagnostics is providing these physicians with the vital capabilities that define e-prescribing: access to prescription benefit and history information and the ability to electronically route new prescriptions and prescription renewals. The goal of e-prescribing is to ultimately provide all Americans with the prescriptions they need in a way that is more convenient, safer and lower cost. We salute Quest Diagnostics and their efforts to make this goal a reality."

ePrescribing Convenience with Care360 Mobile

Physicians using Care360 Labs & Meds, including the Care360 ePrescribing service, from their personal computer, can now access these services from their Apple(R) iPhone(TM) or iPod touch(R) using Care360 Mobile. With Care360 Mobile, physicians have the ability to view, from the convenience of their iPhones, patient allergies and problems, lab results, medication history, and potential drug interactions. Physicians subscribed to Care360 ePrescribing can, from their iPhones, create and send a new prescription in three simple steps using medication and pharmacy databases, and can also renew existing prescriptions. The application can be found under Medical applications in the Apple App Store and downloaded at no charge. It supports charting prescriptions electronically alongside lab results and enhances patient safety with alerts to drug interactions and contraindications.

"From my perspective, ePrescribing is the wave of the future," said Thomas Wolf, M.D., Prairie Fields Family Medicine, Fremont, Nebraska, who is currently using Care360 ePrescribing with the Care360 Mobile application on his iPod touch. "When I use ePrescribing, I find that it's accurate, it's legible, it's safe for the patients. It's checking allergies, it's checking medications, and it's going to be something that all physicians will use in the future."

ePrescribing Delivers Practice and Patient Benefits

Physicians are rapidly embracing ePrescribing as they become aware of the value the technology can bring to practice management and patient care. A study by the Medical Group Management Association shows that the administrative complexity related to managing prescription refill requests by phone alone can cost practices more than $10,000 per year per physician(1). In addition to helping practices spend less time administering prescriptions, a study funded by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that e-prescribing systems with formulary decision support that allow prescribers to select lower cost or generic medications can save $845,000 per 100,000 patients and could reduce prescription drug spending by up to $3.9 million per 100,000 patients per year(2). ePrescribing has also been shown to reduce errors and medication-related risks to patient health. In fact, a recently published study in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that electronic prescribing alerts in ambulatory( )care may prevent a substantial number of injuries(3). ePrescribing also reduces patient wait times and improves follow-through in picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy. A study conducted by Walgreens and Surescripts showed that once a practice starts ePrescribing, 11 percent more of the prescriptions physicians order for their patients are dispensed(4).

Government Provides Physician Incentives to ePrescribe

Accelerating the adoption of ePrescribing is one of the key action items in the federal government's plan to expedite the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and build a national electronic health information infrastructure in the United States. In January 2009, a new incentive program was launched by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for eligible professionals who are "successful ePrescribers" as defined by Section 132 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). CMS ePrescribing incentive program information is posted at

Care360 EHR Continues Commitment to Physicians in Smaller and Medium Sized Practices

According to Richard A. Mahoney, Vice President, Healthcare Information Solutions, Quest Diagnostics, "Putting critical insights into the hands of physicians wherever they are, and giving them the power to act on that information swiftly in the best interests of their patients, can make a tremendous difference in patient outcomes. At Quest Diagnostics, we see firsthand, daily, the 80% of patient care provided in small practices, and the specialized HIT needs these physicians have. Our Care360 solutions are designed with the needs of smaller and medium sized practices in mind."

He added, "We've been pioneering advancements in health information technology since the 1970s, and our commitment to helping physicians improve patient care, practice efficiency, and take advantage of government incentives extends well beyond our Care360 ePrescribing trial opportunity and the Care360 Mobile application. Our promise is to be there today to help physicians get started with health information technology and take advantage of the 2% CMS incentives, and be there tomorrow with an affordable Care360 EHR (Electronic Health Record) solution they know they can trust when they are ready to take advantage of the federal stimulus package."

Care360 EHR is currently in beta testing in physician practices across the U.S. and scheduled for release in Fall 2009. According to Mr. Mahoney, Quest Diagnostics is committed to Care360 EHR becoming designated as a certified technology as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package, and to helping physicians meet the requirements for "Meaningful Use" and realize the maximum incentives allowed.

For physicians who begin use of Care360 ePrescribing before December 18, 2009, Quest Diagnostics will send no billing of the monthly license fee during the first six months of use. At the end of six months, physicians may discontinue use of Care360 ePrescribing with no obligation, or continue use of ePrescribing, paying $60 for the prior six months (half the service's standard monthly fee). Subsequent use of Care360 ePrescribing will be billed at the standard rate of $20 per month.

Visit for more information about the Quest Diagnostics Care360 ePrescribing physician opportunity, Care360 Labs & Meds, Care360 Mobile, and the upcoming Care360 EHR.

About Care360(TM)

Care360(TM) is an interoperable, web-based physician portal that affords physicians access to clinical information from their personal computer anywhere, anytime. Care360 Labs & Meds makes lab ordering and resulting efficient and convenient, provides enhanced longitudinal reporting for tracking patient progress, and allows physicians the ability to share relevant health information across a secure health information network, and transmit lab results, with appropriate approvals, to patient personal health records (PHRs), such as Google(R) Health or Microsoft(R) HealthVault. Care360 ePrescribing, a Surescripts-certified solution, is a service allowing physicians to access formulary information, act upon Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts, handle refills, and send and print prescriptions. Physicians using Care360 can download the Care360 Mobile medical application from the Apple App Store, and use their Apple(R) iPhone(TM) or iPod touch(R) to order and refill prescriptions as well as view patient allergies and problems, lab results, medication history, and potential drug interactions. A new addition to the Care360 suite, Care360 EHR, is currently in beta testing in physician practices across the U.S. and scheduled for release in Fall 2009. Visit for more information about Care360 Labs & Meds and Care360 EHR, and their Care360 ePrescribing and Care360 Mobile features.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at

Quest, Quest Diagnostics, Care360 and all associated marks are the registered or unregistered trademarks of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. All third party marks-(R) and (TM)-are the property of their respective owners.

Quest Diagnostics Contacts:
Barb Short (Media): 973-520-2800
Kathleen Valentine (Investors): 973-520-2900

(1) Impact of administrative complexity in group practices


(2)Effect of Electronic Prescribing with Formulary Decision Support on Medication Use and Cost


(3)An Empirical Model to Estimate the Potential Impact of Medication Safety Alerts on Patient Safety, Health Care Utilization, and Cost in Ambulatory Care


(4)Research conducted by Surescripts and Walgreens using prescriber data from IMS Health, 2007


SOURCE Quest Diagnostics

Barb Short, Media, +1-973-520-2800, Kathleen Valentine, Investors, +1-973-520-2900, both of Quest Diagnostics