OptumRx to require electronic prescribing for all controlled substances.

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OptumRx, the pharmacy benefit provider for United Healthcare, will require electronic prescriptions for all controlled substances for its home delivery pharmacy service effective March 1, 2020.  OptumRx has stated that they are “…part of a nationwide effort to require e-prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances for its home delivery pharmacy. We’re joining with care providers and communities to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction.” MDToolbox commends OptumRx for being among the first home delivery pharmacy services to require EPCS (electronic prescribing of controlled substances).

At this time, the requirement does not apply to members residing in Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.  OptumRx is also not requiring prescribers who are exempt from either their State EPCS requirements or the SUPPORT Act EPCS requirements.  As states have created legislation for their own electronic prescribing mandates, some have allowed for prescribers to apply for temporary exemptions that will be honored by OptumRx.

2020 sees several more states requiring electronic prescribing such as Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Virginia.  As of this week, 33 of 50 states have current or pending electronic prescribing mandate legislation.  Federal law will also require physicians to electronically prescribe controlled substances for Medicare patients effective January 1, 2021.  There will likely be more major mail-order and retail pharmacies requiring electronic prescribing in the near future, continue watching our blog for the latest news on electronic prescribing.

Please see our website for states that have either passed or have pending legislation that mandates electronic prescribing.  MDToolbox looks forward to providing tools and resources to assist providers throughout the United States to ease the transition and help our customers combat the opioid epidemic.  With MDToolbox, providers have access to tools such as Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and convenient on the go e-prescribing with our mobile app!  We offer a free 30 day free trial, so Contact us for more information!

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