Electronic prescribing of controlled substances, or EPCS, is the electronic transmission of a prescription for a controlled substance to a pharmacy. In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revised its regulations, allowing physicians to electronically prescribe controlled substances through a certified electronic system. At the same time pharmacists were permitted and encouraged to receive, dispense, and archive the electronic prescriptions for controlled and non-controlled substances sent to them by the prescriber.
Today, various factors have driven and continue to drive mandated implementation among the states for e-prescribing of controlled substances. EPCS is an important solution as it institutionalizes careful monitoring and increased oversight of a patient’s prescription history and use of controlled substances.
Federal Mandate: Medicare Part D Practitioners
In 2018 the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was passed by the federal government. The Act includes legislation that requires Medicare Part D practitioners to begin electronically prescribing Part D drugs requiring prior authorization on January 1, 2021. Medicare Part D prescribers in every state are subject to the above stated mandate and must comply.
EPCS Mandates among the States
As of November 1, 2019 there will be six states with active EPCS mandates. The inauguration of 2020 will witness the implementation of EPCS mandates for additional states, and as the United States approaches the federal mandate implementation date of January 1, 2021, a general trend of state legislatures requiring EPCS will likely continue. The details of each state’s mandate differ, differences based upon the specified schedules of controlled substances that must be prescribed. It is imperative to the success and lawful abiding of the prescriber that they are aware of the schedules of controlled substances required under their state’s EPCS mandate and act accordingly. For more information on the details of each state’s EPCS mandate, please refer to the individual state links below.
Practice Fusion’s e-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) feature is certified and ready for immediate use in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With EPCS activated, prescribers will be able to e-prescribe most medications, including scheduled controlled substances, directly from Practice Fusion’s EHR.
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An EPCS system can cost up to $2,500 per provider each year, but we don’t believe you should have to pay that much to stay compliant. Electronic prescribing, including EPCS, is included in your Practice Fusion subscription at no additional charge.
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*Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) is only available in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia