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Mandated E-Prescribing in New York Has a Rocky Start

Written by: Kimberly Commito on Monday, May 2, 2016 Posted in: HME/DME, Home Infusion, Specialty Pharmacy

Mandated E-Prescribing in New York Has a Rocky StartAs of March 27, 2016, electronic prescribing is now required in the state of New York for controlled and non-controlled substances. Many providers implemented the necessary changes by the deadline, but others have yet to comply. According to the original mandate, the potential penalty for noncompliance includes fines and even prison time.

According to HealthData Management writer Greg Slabodkin, data from Surescripts suggest that “EHR vendors serving 96 percent of prescribers in New York are already certified to process controlled substance prescriptions electronically.”1 However, many providers, both large and small, have yet to adopt e-prescribing and are filing waivers to try to buy themselves more time.

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Some of the reasons for the delayed adoption include:

  • Some EHRs are not yet able to accept e-prescriptions for controlled and non-controlled drugs
  • Many doctors have not yet completed their certification to use their EHRs to e-prescribe
  • Many software systems are not yet equipped to receive and process e-prescriptions
  • Extensive EPCS certification process can take several months, and the time was not accounted for

HealthData Management also reports that, by April 1, 2016, New York’s Department of Health (DOH) “had received 4,165 waiver requests; of those, 1,610 were granted because of technology issues.”1 In order to be considered for a waiver, prescribers must demonstrate that they are burdened by “economic hardship, technological limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the practitioner, or other exceptional circumstances.”2

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the larger providers that was granted a waiver. A spokesperson for the organization told HealthData Management that it received the waiver because some of its physicians work in locations that lack the technology to file e-prescriptions for controlled substances.1

Other states are likely to eventually mandate e-prescribing as well, but will these New York delays hinder that process? It’s too soon to tell, but I recommend that providers in other states start switching to this new technology sooner rather than later.

Ensuring that your software is equipped for these changes, that your physicians are certified, and your internal processes are updated is key to staying ahead in the healthcare industry. Even if your state is not required to follow this mandate for several months or even a few years, accepting e-prescriptions and establishing your pharmacy with these credentials will be critical.

Is your software system equipped with e-prescribing capabilities? Mediware software products are certified to receive and process electronic prescriptions through Surescripts. Learn more about Mediware e-prescribing products!


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