In 2018, Arizona led all states in e-prescribing advancement, according to the national e-prescribing monitoring company, Surescripts. The most progress was seen in the e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). By the end of 2018, 98.6 percent of all pharmacies were EPCS-enabled, 47.2 percent of prescribers were EPCS-enabled, and 23.6 percent of prescribers had prescribed controlled substances using EPCS. These advancements moved Arizona from 22nd in the nation to 11th, the largest jump of any state.
A key factor in Arizona’s progress has been the e-prescribing mandate for opioid prescriptions that originally took effect in January 2019 and was subsequently delayed a year by the Arizona legislature. On February 14, 2019, Governor Ducey signed an amendment to the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act that pushed the mandate back to January of 2020 and eliminated the waiver process that was in the original legislation.
Another factor in Arizona’s progress has been the Click for Control campaign from Health Current last year. This successful campaign, a collaborative initiative of Health Current, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the Arizona Department of Health Services (AzDHS), the Arizona Board of Pharmacy and community partner organizations, will continue in 2019. Connie Ihde, Director of Programs, stressed that the 2019 Click for Control campaign will focus on preparing Arizona prescribers for the mandate that goes into effect January 1, 2020 – with no waivers available. “We were pleased to see the progress in Arizona in 2018;” Ihde said, “however, many providers still have much work to do.” The key step, according to Ihde, is for prescribers to talk to their EHR vendors and map out a plan that will make them EPCS-capable before the mandate goes into effect.
Health Current will be offering webinars and ongoing assistance to help prescribers meet the state mandate. In addition, Health Current will also provide statewide EPCS status and updates on a dashboard on the Health Current website, according to Ihde. For more information on the Click for Control campaign click here. If you have questions on the mandate or EPCS, please contact Connie Ihde at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ahead of an e-prescribing mandate for opioids that took effect in January 2019 (and was subsequently delayed until January 2020), Arizona jumped from 22nd to 11th place in 2018—the largest rise in the country. At the end of the year, 47.2% of its prescribers and 98.6% of its pharmacies were enabled for EPCS.
HB 2075 signed by Governor Ducey on February 14, 2019, amends the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act and requires all Arizona providers to electronically prescribe any Schedule II controlled substance by January 1, 2020. It also removed the waiver process in the original legislation.