Electronic Prescription Directions Vary Greatly in Content and Quality

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Electronic prescriptions allow for providers to enter any free-text directions (Sig) they wish, just as if they were writing a paper prescription. The patient directions are one of the most critical parts of a prescription. It’s a huge safety risk if patients do not understand how to use their prescription or if a pharmacist has to try to interpret what the provider means. In a recent study that analyzed 25,000 electronic prescriptions issued by 22,152 community-based prescribers using 501 e-prescribing software applications, it was found that there was a large number of variations in the electronic prescription directions1. The quality of the directions also varied greatly.

The study was conducted by Yuze Yang, PharmD, from Surescripts and colleagues, and published online in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. Out of the 25,000 e-prescriptions, there were 3,797 unique Sigs concepts identified in the Sig text strings. However, more than half of all patient directions could be classified into just 25 unique Sig concepts. There were large numbers of variation of even what would be considered simple and straightforward directions found. For example, over 800 permutations of words and phrases used to convey "take one tablet by mouth once daily" were identified.

The researchers not only looked at the variations, they also analyzed the Sig text strings for quality-related events which were defined as “Sig text content that could impair accurate and unambiguous interpretation by staff at receiving pharmacies.” The biggest quality issue observed was incomplete Sigs. Prescriptions were commonly missing relevant dosages or administration frequency/timing information. They found that more than one in ten prescriptions contained some sort of quality issue.  Considering the number of electronic prescriptions that are sent and the not only time-wasting potential but possibly catastrophic results that could come from such quality issues, that figure is way too high.

The authors' recommendations for reducing the quality issues and variations include:

  • Enhancing e-prescribing application user interfaces and Sig creation tools
  • Improving end-user training and usability testing for optimal use of system functionalities
  • Adopting and implementing the currently available Structured and Codified Sig format by both prescriber and pharmacy systems to facilitate improved standardization and interoperability

At MDToolbox, patient safety and ease of use for prescribers are two of our main focuses when designing our directions input fields. We offer several options designed to make entering quality directions as easy as possible:

  • Sig builder – build complete directions in just a few easy clicks
  • Common Sigs – choose from the most commonly used Sigs already available in the system
  • Saved favorite directions – prescribers can enter directions that they commonly use and save them as a favorite with a shortcut that can be quickly accessed
  • Free-text directions – although free-text directions open it up to possible quality errors, MDToolbox has implemented quality checkers to ensure that free-text directions are not missing any of the information the contributes to many of the quality issues such as “how much” or “how often” the prescription should be used.

MDToolbox is also constantly looking for ways like our quality checkers to enhance these areas even more. Part of the way we do this is by conducting usability tests and end-user trainings in order to get feedback from users and ensure users are taking advantage of the available tools. We share a goal with Surescripts to have zero-error e-prescribing and are continually striving towards this goal.

 

  1. Quality and Variability of Patient Directions in Electronic Prescriptions in the Ambulatory Care Setting https://www.jmcp.org/doi/10.18553/jmcp.2018.17404 

E-Prescribing Growth Continues to Soar

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E-Prescribing makes the prescribing process easier and safer for patients, prescribers, and pharmacists alike, so it comes as no surprise that e-Prescribing rates continue to surge each year. Surescripts recently released its 2016 National Progress Report1 detailing the e-Prescribing growth they’ve seen on their network.

A total of 1.6 billion e-prescriptions were sent in 2016, up 12% from 1.4 billion in 2015. This accounts for 73% of all prescriptions being sent electronically.

The rates for e-Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) saw one of the biggest increases with a 256% jump from 2015. There were 45.3 million e-prescriptions for controlled substances sent in 2016 as compared to only 12.8 million in 2015. Part of this increase can be attributed to states such as New York, Minnesota and soon to be Maine mandating that all controlled substances be sent electronically.

The mandate helped New York be ranked number 1 in the Surescripts report with 72.1% of prescribers enabled for EPCS, 98.1% of pharmacies enabled, and 91.9% of controlled substances prescribed electronically. Minnesota, who doesn’t enforce their mandate, was ranked number 7 with 14.3% of prescribers enabled for EPCS, 93.8% of pharmacies enabled, and 19.8% of controlled substances prescribed electronically.

States are putting these mandates in place in an effort to combat substance abuse and increase patient safety. With software, like MDToolbox-Rx, incorporating EPCS into the existing e-Prescribing workflows, it really leaves little reason for those prescribers who are already e-Prescribing not to electronically prescribe controlled substances as well.

The ability to access patient medication histories electronically at the point of prescribing also plays an important role in patient safety. It allows prescribers the ability to see a more complete history and avoid adverse drug events. The amount of providers accessing medical histories on the Surescripts network also increased in 2016. More than 1.08 billion medication histories were accessed.

2016 also saw a 22% increase in the number of healthcare professional connected to the Surescripts network with 1.3 million healthcare professionals connecting. However, although the number of prescribers connected increased by 7%, it’s somewhat surprising that 36% of prescribers are still not connected. We are confident that the number of prescribers who connect will continue to increase though, as prescribers continue to realize the value of e-Prescribing and the ease of use provided by software like MDToolbox-Rx.

 

1. Surescripts 2016 National Progress Report http://surescripts.com/news-center/national-progress-report-2016/

Maine e-Prescribing Deadline Fast Approaching

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Prescribers in Maine have less than 3 weeks until the mandate requiring all opioid prescriptions be sent electronically goes into effect. As of July 1st, 2017, licensed practitioners in Maine may no longer write paper prescriptions for opioid medications according to Public Law Chapter 4881.

As we wrote about earlier, the mandate was put in place in an effort to combat opiate abuse and heroin addiction. E-Prescribing prevents forged prescriptions, eliminates errors from illegible handwriting and misunderstood oral prescriptions, and helps prevent overprescribing of pain medications. It’s hoped that by limiting the pain pills, it will prevent people from even trying heroin to begin with.  

The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in Maine produced a document “Electronic Prescribing in Maine: A Guide to Understanding E-Prescribing and its Benefits2,” which addresses some frequently asked questions about the mandate.  Among the FAQs, it’s stated that an electronic prescription will be required for any amount of opioid medication being prescribed, even those for fewer than 7 days. Sending a prescription via facsimile will also not meet the requirements. Opioid prescriptions must be sent electronically using software that meets all of the federal security requirements and has been approved by the DEA for EPCS.

The DEA requirements for EPCS include:

  • Using certified software that has gone through a 3rd Party Audit – software systems must show that they meet the DEA requirements for signing, transmitting, and processing controlled substances prescriptions
  • Identity proofing – all prescribers must prove they are who they say they are and have the proper credentials to prescribe controlled substances
  • 2-Factor Authentication – prescribers must use 2-factor authentication to sign controlled substance prescriptions electronically. This involves using 2 of the following: something you know (a password), something you have (most commonly a software or hardware token), or something you are (biometric information).

While the requirements can make it seem overwhelming, MDToolbox has simplified the process. Signing up for MDToolbox-Rx e-Prescribing with EPCS is a simple process with only a few steps that can be completed within minutes. Once signed up, utilizing the software is just as easy with an intuitive workflow.

Although it’s quick and easy to get started with MDToolbox, we do not recommend waiting any longer. If you prescribe opioids in Maine and still need e-Prescribing software to meet the mandate, contact us today at info@mdtoolbox.com or 206-331-4420! We are ready to answer any questions you have and help make your transition to EPCS as smooth as possible.

 

1.  https://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/bills_127th/chapters/PUBLIC488.asp

2. Electronic Prescribing in Maine, A Guide to Understanding E-Prescribing and its Benefits. http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/osa/data/pmp/Electronic-Prescribing.pdf

37 States Now Sharing Prescription Data

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Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Texas are the four most recent states to join the prescription monitoring program (PMP) run by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) – NABP PMP InterConnect1. This brings the total number of states connected to 37, making it the largest prescription data sharing network. Over 3.9 million requests and 8.2 million responses are processed through the system each month.

The complete list of connected states includes: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

It is expected that other states will be joining soon too. “We’re excited about the growth and response to PMP InterConnect,” said NABP President Hal Wand, MBA, RPh. “Our goal is to reach every state with a PMP to guarantee a true connection across our country in an effort for greater medical knowledge and our patients’ safety.”

There is no charge to the states to use the system and it’s setup to enforce each state’s data-access rules. Authorized healthcare professionals including physicians and pharmacists in each of the connected states are able to access multi-state histories of their patients’ controlled substance prescriptions. This is an important tool in combating prescription drug abuse and identifying potential problems by allowing providers to see a comprehensive history, especially for those patients who cross state lines.

1. "Four States Join NABP PMP InterConnect, the Nation’s Largest Prescription Data Sharing Network," National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) https://nabp.pharmacy/four-states-join-nabp-pmp-interconnect-nations-largest-prescription-data-sharing-network/

2017 Brings Changes to Medicare Incentive Programs and Meaningful Use

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As we ring in the new year, medical providers now can say goodbye to the CMS’s “Meaningful Use Incentive Program” (MU) and start preparing for the new Medicare incentive program.

Providers who used qualified systems in 2016 can still attest to Meaningful Use for the 2016 year (you must have been a “meaningful user” of certified electronic medical record system(s) for the minimum reporting period. Visit this website for more info on how the previous year’s MU programs worked and deadlines for attesting: 

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/2016ProgramRequirements.html

Now in 2017, Meaningful Use will become one of four components of the new “Merit-Based Incentive Payment System” or MIPS. MIPS is part of the bigger Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization or MACRA.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) ended the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which threatened clinicians participating in Medicare with potential payment penalties for 13 years.  

The MACRA program introduces two paths that Medicare providers can choose from for participation:

  • Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) (providers apply for a special payment model program) or
  • The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)  (a performance-based program)

 

Who Does this Affect?

Providers who are in an Advanced APM or who bill Medicare for more than $30,000 a year and care for more than 100 Medicare patients a year are affected. Providers with less than that are not affected and not part of the program.3  This includes:

  • Physician
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist

 

Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs)

The Advanced APMs program allows certain providers to apply for the APM track. This gives added incentive payments to provide high-quality and cost-efficient care. See the APM website for more information on the special programs and how providers can apply:

https://qpp.cms.gov/learn/apms

 

The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

Most Medicare Providers will be part of MIPS. They will earn a payment adjustment based on evidence-based and practice-specific quality data submitted. According to CMS, the Quality Payment Program policy will reform Medicare payments for more than 600,000 clinicians across the U.S.

Providers participating in the program in 2017 will submit their data by March 2018 and based on submission, their 2019 Medicare payments will be adjusted up, down, or not at all. 

MIPS is broken down into four categories and is setup so that the more Providers participate (and attest to), the higher score (and incentive) providers will get. A Medicare provider who does not participate at all (0%) may see up to 4% negative adjustment in 2019. A provider with a minimal amount of participation (e.g. submit one measure) may be able to avoid adjustment. For partial submission (submit the minimums for a partial year) they will see neutral or positive adjustments, and submit a full year and earn a positive payment adjustment.

CMS has setup a new website for the Quality Program4 which breaks down the four components of the MIPS:

  • Quality (replaces PQRS)   (60%)
  • Improvement Activities (new)  (25%)
  • Advancing Care Information (replaces Meaningful Use)   (15%)
  • Cost (replaces Value Based Modifier)   (0% in 2017)

Image Credit:  MIPS Quality Payment Program Website:  https://qpp.cms.gov/measures/performance

 

If we take a quick look at how each category works:

  •  Quality
    •  Most Providers will report up to 6 quality measures (including an outcome type measure). Quality measures selected should be focused based on type of care and specialty as appropriate.
    •  Reporting period must be a minimum of 90 days.
    • There are over 250 quality measures available, be sure to check your health record software system to see which ones they support (can help gather data for you) when planning.
    • Measures go across many specialties and problem sets:  For example, “Age Appropriate Screen Colonoscopy” – Report the percentage of patients greater than 85 years old seen by the Provider who received a colonoscopy screening Jan 1 to December 31.
  •  Improvement Activities
    • Most Providers will attest to completing a minimum of 4 improvement activities for at least 90 days.
    • As of the writing of this blog, the CMS tools shows 92 activities to choose from.
    • Activities range from care coordination, patient safety changes and beneficiary engagements.
    • Examples: Join and participate (for a minimum of 6 months) in your States Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). Or another example: Engage patients, family and caregivers in developing a plan of care and prioritizing their goals for action, documented in the certified EHR technology.
  • Advancing Care Information
    • Use a qualified (certified) product (or products) for a minimum of 90 days.
    • There are two different programs to pick from depending on your Electronic Health Record Software Certification. For 2017, you will be able to use either a 2014 Certified Product (previously called Stage 2 MU Certification) or a 2015 certified product (certified for the MU Final Ruling criteria). Attest to a minimum of:
      • E-Prescribing
      • Provide Patient Access
      • Send Summary of Care Records
      • Receive Summary of Care Records
      • Report up to 9 additional measures for bonus credits
  • Cost
    • No actions required: Cost will be computing from your claims
    • The cost category will be calculated in 2017, but will not be used to determine your payment adjustment. In 2018, CMS will start using the cost category to determine your payment adjustment.

 

Medicare Providers will want to research the programs and decide their level of participation early in 2017. Full year participation would require making sure their Electronic Health Record system is setup for minimal data tracking and other required features like E-Prescribing and Direct Messaging.

 

References

  1. 2017 Program requirements:

    https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/2017ProgramRequirements.html

  2. MIPS and MACRA:

    http://www.impact-advisors.com/meaningful-use/mips-macra-mu-the-next-evolution-of-healthcare-payment-reform/#sthash.vMkVGSvN.dpuf

  3. https://qpp.cms.gov/docs/Quality_Payment_Program_Overview_Fact_Sheet.pdf

  4. MIPS Quality Payment Program Website: 

    https://qpp.cms.gov/measures/performance

Nevada cracks down on e-Prescribing agents

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In response to a significant number of electronic prescriptions being sent by individuals who were not allowed to transmit them, the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy recently sent out a communique addressing exactly who is allowed to send new electronic prescriptions.  The only ones allowed to send electronic prescriptions in Nevada are the prescribers themselves. Agents such as medical assistants (M.A.s), registered nurses (R.N.s), and other office staff are not allowed to transmit electronic prescriptions for the prescribers.

Two regulations pertaining to the use of computer systems for transmission of electronic prescriptions include:

 

  • NAC 639.7102:

1. A practitioner may:

(a) Issue a prescription using a computer system approved by the Board; and

(b) Transmit the prescription using that computer system to a pharmacy specified by the patient for whom the practitioner issues the prescription.

 

  • NAC  639.7105:

2. A practitioner shall not transmit a prescription electronically to a pharmacy unless:

(a) The practitioner is the only person who will have access to the prescription until it is received by the pharmacy.1

 

The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy has instructed all pharmacists to diligently check each electronic prescription they receive was submitted by a prescriber only. Any electronic prescription that states the agent is anyone other than a practitioner is considered invalid and won’t be accepted or filled.

The only thing M.A.s and R.N.s are allowed to do is authorize refills on behalf of the practitioner. It cannot be a new electronic prescription acting as a refill though, it must clearly be a refill.

Nevada is not the only state with such laws on the books. There are many states with similar laws and it is important for prescribers to understand and follow the laws pertaining to e-Prescribing in their individual state.

 

1. Nevada Administrative Code, http://leg.state.nv.us/NAC/NAC-639.html#NAC639Sec7102 

New York e-Prescribing Waivers

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With the March 27th mandatory e-Prescribing deadline in New York State looming, the New York Commissioner of Health has waived the following exceptional circumstances from the requirements of electronic prescribing1:

  1. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance, containing two (2) or more products, which is compounded by a pharmacist;
  2. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance to be compounded for the direct administration to a patient by parenteral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intraspinal infusion;
  3. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance that contains long or complicated directions;
  4. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance that requires a prescription to contain certain elements required by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  5. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance under approved protocols under expedited partner therapy, collaborative drug management or in response to a public health emergency that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  6. any practitioner prescribing an opioid antagonist that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  7. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance under a research protocol;
  8. a practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance either through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated to a pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services, by an agent who is a health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined in section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law.
  9. a pharmacist dispensing controlled and non-controlled substance compounded prescriptions, prescriptions containing long or complicated directions, and prescriptions containing certain elements required by the FDA or any other governmental agency that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  10. a pharmacist dispensing prescriptions issued under a research protocol, or under approved protocols for expedited partner therapy, or for collaborative drug management;
  11. a pharmacist dispensing non-patient specific prescriptions, including opioid antagonists, or prescriptions issued in response to a public health emergency issued; and
  12. a pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services dispensing a controlled or non-controlled substance through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated by an agent who is a health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined in section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law.

Prescribers who issue prescriptions in any of these circumstances may use the Official New York State Prescription Form or issue the prescription orally. The waiver is effective until March 26, 2017. Before that time, the Commissioner of Health will reevaluate whether the e-Prescribing software available has adequate functionality for these exceptional circumstances. 

 

1. New York State Department of Health, Letter from the NYS Commissioner of Health to practictioners and pharmacists regarding a blanket waiver for additional exceptional circumstances related to electronic prescribing - March 16, 2016

http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/narcotic/electronic_prescribing/docs/2016-03-16_blanket_waiver_letter.pdf

NY I-STOP Deadline Approaching

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The New York State Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act mandates that all prescriptions, both controlled and non-controlled, be sent electronically. Last year the deadline for prescribers to meet the regulation was postponed until March 27, 2016. This new deadline is fast approaching.

In order to comply with I-STOP, prescribers must select and use a certified electronic prescribing computer application that meets all federal requirements for electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS).  This includes going through Identity Proofing and setting up 2-Factor authentication. The practitioner must also register each unique certified computer application used to electronically prescribe controlled substances with the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE).

The BNE recently sent out a letter to all prescribers advising the following:

“Please be aware that implementation timelines for EPCS software vary and may be lengthy. If you have not already begun this process, BNE strongly recommends that you begin immediately. Prescribers who have certified EPCS software and have completed the registration process are highly encouraged to begin electronically prescribing instead of using paper, to allow for time to resolve technical or workflow issues prior to the mandate’s effective date.”

MDToolbox has a simple signup process for both standard e-Prescribing and to setup EPCS. Most prescribers can complete the required ID proofing and 2-Factor Authentication setup within one day, but we also urge prescribers in NY to get started as soon as possible. This will ensure time to complete the application process and get all staff setup and trained.

To sign up for a free 30 day e-Prescribing trial with EPCS: New York e-Prescribing Account

Once you have signed up, you can register the application at:          

http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/narcotic/electronic_prescribing/ropes.htm

New York Delays e-Prescribing Mandate One Year

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New York State has officially delayed the requirement to send all prescriptions electronically one year until March 27, 2016. The delay came just two weeks before the original I-STOP mandate was set to go into effect. Under I-STOP, providers will be required to send both non-controlled and controlled substances electronically. Paper prescriptions will no longer be allowed.

The main reason for the delay was stated as a lack of software vendors being ready.  While most software has the ability to electronically send non-controlled prescriptions, some are still lacking the ability to electronically prescribe controlled substances (EPCS). EPCS capability requires completing an audit by a DEA-approved auditor to prove that certain security measures are in place. 

The advantages of e-Prescribing are plentiful from patient safety to efficiency in prescribing to combatting doctor shopping. However, many of these benefits could be lost by either using software that isn’t truly ready or rushing into trying to use software that is complex. The additional time will be beneficial for prescribers. Providers can now pick the solution that is right for them without being rushed and get their practice adjusted to e-prescribing more slowly.

The delay will also take some of the pressure off those vendors who are still trying to add EPCS capabilities. While MDToolbox was one of the first vendors to be approved by the DEA for sending controlled substances, we understand the complexities involved in becoming an approved vendor. It is not an easy process. This additional year will give EHRs and other software vendors the necessary time to implement the requirements as smoothly as possible into their workflows and ensure they do not lose their providers to other vendors. Many vendors have chosen to partner with other vendors to help them meet the requirements. This is a great way to integrate EPCS and the required features such as Identity Proofing, 2-factor authentication, and Permissions without having to exert many resources. Having all of the required features come together in a package that can seamlessly integrate takes a lot of the legwork, expenses, and stress out of the process.

Whatever path vendors and prescribers choose to take, they must seize this opportunity to guarantee they are fully ready when the new deadline comes around.

Click here for further information on adding MDToolbox EPCS to your software

Click here for further information on MDToolbox standalone e-Prescribing software

Hydrocodone Rescheduling Effective October 6, 2014

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DEA ISSUES FINAL RULING FOR HCPs TO BE RESCHEDULED FROM CLASS III TO CLASS II

The DEA has officially ruled that all hydrocodone combination products or HCPs (ex: Vicodin and Lortab) are to be rescheduled, moving them from Schedule III to II based on the Controlled Substances Act1. The ruling was made official August 22, 2014 and will be put into effect starting October 6, 2014.

 

HOW DOES THIS EFFECT PRESRCIBING?

Starting next week, all HCPs will be schedule II controlled substances (CS). This will cause several things to change and impact providers, as well as patients alike. Providers will no longer be able to write prescriptions for HCPs with refills and they will be limited to a 3 month supply at most (the rule also mandates that doctors must write the prescriptions in 30-day increments that can only be filled sequentially). Pain patients using the drugs will have to visit their doctors every three months for a new prescription. The rule also limits which providers in certain states can write these prescriptions, as well as how they can be sent.

Due to HCPs now being a schedule II CS, only practitioners registered with the DEA will be able to prescribe the drugs. However, some states have separate laws in place that limit this even further.  For example, in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina nurse practitioners are not allowed to prescribe, administer, or dispense schedule II CSs.

Providers are only left with two options for prescribing these schedule II drugs:

Paper Prescriptions 

According to the DEA, prescriptions for schedule II CSs cannot be phoned in or faxed to a pharmacy with the exception of emergency situations. In the case one of the situations comes to pass, the provider that authorized the emergency oral prescription has 7 days to produce a paper prescription to the pharmacy, which can be hand delivered or mailed if post marked within the 7 day period. If a prescription is faxed, it cannot be dispensed until a physical copy of the prescription is presented and reviewed. A prescription for a schedule II CS must be written with ink, indelible pencil, typed, or generated by an electronic system on tamper-proof prescription forms and hand signed if they are to be hand delivered to the pharmacy.

Electronic Prescriptions

The second way that a provider can prescribe a schedule II drug is through e-Prescribing. EPCS, or Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances, offers a viable solution for prescribers to not only meet the DEA requirements for schedule II prescriptions, but increase their workflow and patient safety at the same time.   With Electronic Prescriptions, the prescriber also must sign each prescription but instead of using ink, he uses a digital signature that is generated with a two-factor sign-off credential.  When the prescription is sent electronically the pharmacist can see that the order was electronically signed and knows that it came from the prescriber and was not forged.    EPCS is approved for Prescribers in 49 states for Schedule III-V and in 47 States for Schedule II drugs, meaning in most of the U.S. prescribers can use EPCS to safely send Vicodin and other schedule II drugs.

MDToolbox has made the process easy and straightforward for providers.  When a provider first signs up for EPCS, they will go through an identity proofing process and set up their two factor credentials. Once set up is complete, writing and sending a prescription for a CS is just as easy as a non CS, the only difference being entering the two-factor signing credentials that assures it is the doctor authorizing the prescription.   To get more information on how EPCS works, or to find out about signing up for our EPCS Stand Alone or EHR Integration Add on, contact us at info@mdtoolbox.com or visit our EPCS page.

 

    1. http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2014/fr0822.htm