Kansas Mandates Electronic Prescribing

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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly recently signed HB2119 into law. This Act mandates Kansas healthcare providers to electronically prescribe all controlled substance medications that contain an opiate with an effective date of July 1st, 2021.  The Kansas mandate details several circumstances where electronic prescribing is not required.  However, there are a couple of circumstances that are not typical or seen in mandates that other states have enacted:

  • If the prescription is for a compounded controlled substance containing two or more components (one of which being an opiate) that make “electronic submission impractical”, electronic prescribing is not required. This provision is likely to help accommodate prescribers who are using software that does not support prescription orders for custom compounds.  At the time of writing this blog, many software systems only allow selecting orders from a list of drugs (MDToolbox e-Rx software however DOES accommodate custom compounds and would allow for this type of order to be electronically sent).
  • If a prescriber issues 50 or fewer controlled substance prescriptions that contain an opiate per year, electronic prescribing is not required.


Other subsections of the Act include:

  • There are provisions in the Act for a waiver system with similar circumstances for approval as other states have enacted.  Some of these include economic hardship, technological limitations, and other circumstances determined by the board.  The Act details penalties for practices that violate or misrepresent themselves when applying for waivers.
  • The Act establishes penalties for any prescriber who violates “any lawful rules or regulations” set in place by the state which would include the EPCS mandate established by this Act.
  • More than half of the Act amends previous legislation with new medical definitions for existing and future laws.


Kansas is currently well below the national average for opioid-related overdose deaths, with 5.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 while the national average was 14.6 deaths.  Prescription opioid overdoses rose steadily from 2000 to 2007, then have consistently decreased from 2014 to 2017.  Heroin and synthetic opioid deaths have remained consistent despite the national average rising sharply in the last few years.[1]  Despite being one of the lowest states for opioid overdose deaths, Kansas prescribes more opioids than the national average.  Opioid prescriptions are 69.8 per 100 people while the national average is 58.7 per 100 people.[2]  Kansas was one of the first states to enact legislation for a prescription drug monitoring program (K-TRACS).  It went operational in 2010 but the state does not mandate it’s use for non-dispensing prescribers.  Funding issues threatened the K-TRACS program but support was reapproved by the Governor for 2018 and 2019.[3]

Kansas currently has an 18.6% prescriber enablement for electronic prescribing of controlled substances, which is significantly below the national average of 35.4%.  Pharmacy enablement for EPCS is 98.8% which is above the national average for pharmacy enablement of 95.4%.[4]  There will likely be a big push leading up to 2021 to secure electronic prescribing, MDToolbox encourages providers not to wait!

Kansas now aligns with several other states mandating electronic prescribing.  MDToolbox looks forward to working with providers throughout Kansas to ease the transition and help provide tools and resources in combating the opioid epidemic.  With MDToolbox providers have access to tools such as Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and convenient on the go mobile e-prescribing.  Contact us for more information or to start your free 30 day free trial.





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