Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is now required in Arizona for any prescription of a Schedule II controlled substance that is an opioid. To increase EPCS in Arizona and prepare Arizona prescribers for the new state requirements, mandated by the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, Health Current has launched the 2019 EPCS Click for Control Campaign.
Arizona Opioid E-Prescribing Requirement
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 that is an opioid by January 1, 2020.
Benefits of EPCS
EPCS improves patient safety, quality and practice workflow, and reduces fraud and prescribing errors. In addition, EPCS will soon be a state requirement for all prescribers of controlled substances.
- Improves prescribing workflow with all prescriptions managed / stored in one application.
EPCS allows non-controlled and controlled prescriptions to be managed or controlled in one workflow and condenses record keeping for all of a patient’s prescription history. Not only does this save valuable time, it also provides other efficiencies such as being able to check a patient’s health plan drug coverage at the same time.
- Improves patient safety and quality.
E-prescribing through an EHR reduces prescription errors by 50 percent or more through clinical drug alerts, and the legibility and transcription errors of paper are eliminated. In addition, EPCS improves quality and patient adherence. Patients prefer e-prescriptions and say they are more likely to pick up an e-prescription that can be immediately available.
- Reduces fraud and help fight the opioid epidemic.
EPCS reduces fraud by eliminating paper prescriptions that can be tampered with, lost or stolen. In addition, a prescriber’s DEA number is no longer out in circulation on paper prescriptions.
For more information on the Benefits for EPCS and information on the Click for Control Campaign, Click Here.
EPCS Steps for Prescribers
For EPCS to work, both pharmacy technology and electronic health record (EHR) or e-prescribing (eRX) systems must be EPCS – certified. Additionally, prescribers must take certain steps, including getting identity proofed and implementing dual factor authentication into their prescribing workflow. All major statewide pharmacies are now EPCS capable.
These are the steps for your practice to become ready for EPCS.
- Contact your EHR or e-prescribing vendor and ask if they are EPCS – certified.
- Complete identity proofing requirement
- Obtain dual authentication device or process
- Set up access controls
- Go live with EPCS and adjust work flow
For more information on the EPCS Steps for Prescribers Click Here.
EPCS Background and History
Health Current has been assisting Arizona pharmacies and prescribers in getting ready for EPCS, which has been legal in Arizona since 2012.
In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an interim final rule which sets federal standards, rules and regulations for EPCS. In 2012, Health Current helped to lead the passage of House Bill 2369 (HB 2369) which included statutory language to allow for EPCS in Arizona. Visit the Policy Development page for more information on this legislation.
In January 2018, Governor Ducey signed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, AZ Senate Bill 1001, which includes a provision requiring each prescription for a Schedule II opioid to be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy. This legislation was amended by HB 2075, signed by Governor Ducey on February 14, 2019 that set a firm deadline of January 1, 2020 for all Arizona prescribers.
On February 14, 2019, Governor Ducey signed House Bill (HB) 2075 into law, which is effective immediately. This law extends the requirement of electronic prescribing of opioids to January 1, 2020 for ALL Arizona counties. The new law also eliminates the requirement for a waiver since all counties now have until January 1, 202 to comply.
Additionally, the major provisions contained in HB 2075 moves the 2019 implementation dates for urban and rural counties to January 1, 2020 for all counties, allows for written prescriptions if the e-prescribing system is not operational or available in a timely manner, the occurrence must be noted in records maintained by the pharmacy for a period of time set by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, exempts requirements for Indian Health Services and federal facilities, eliminates the waiver process through the Arizona Board of Pharmacy but provides rulemaking authority in consultation with a Task Force to add additional exceptions, delays e-prescribing requirements for veterinarians until e-prescribing software is widely available, allow for prescriptions to be faxed if the prescription is compounded for direct administration to a patient, residents of a long-term care facility and hospice patients, resolves a statutory conflict that inadvertently imposed a prohibition on physician assistants prescribing more than a 72-hour dosage of opioids or benzodiazepines and contains a retroactive clause to December 31, 2018 so the legislation takes effect immediately once it became law.
EPCS-Certified EHR Vendors and Costs
2020 EPCS Click for Control Campaign Webinar Series - Free
To increase EPCS in Arizona and prepare Arizona prescribers for the new state requirements, Health Current has launched the 2020 EPCS Click for Control Campaign. The 2020 EPCS Click for Control campaign presents a series of webinars to educate and help Arizona prescribers and practices navigate the adoption of EPCS, increase Arizona’s national EPCS ranking and contribute to the reduction of opioid abuse disorder.
Download the EPCS Click for Control Campaign Webinar Series here.
2020 EPCS Click for Control Campaign Recorded Webinars
Click to download and watch the 2020 EPCS Click for Control Campaign Webinars below.
EPCS Webinar: 2020 Events in Review – December 2020
EPCS Webinar: Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP): Review of Benefits and Requirements – November 2020
EPCS Webinar: Benefits of Electronically Prescribing BOTH Legend Drugs and Controlled Substances – October 2020
EPCS Webinar: Another Look at HB 2075 EPCS Mandates and Requirements – September 2020
EPCS Webinar: Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP) Requirements and Benefits – August 2020
(Repeat of May 2020 webinar)
EPCS Webinar: Board Certified Physician Assistant Limits and Requirements – July 2020 (Repeat of April 2020 webinar)
- Download A Deeper Dive into HB 2075 EPCS Mandates Webinar: Board Certified Physician Assistant Limits and Requirements
EPCS Webinar: Prescribing Limits & Requirements Including Oral/Written/Fax Permissible Situations – June 2020
(Repeat of March 2020 webinar)
EPCS Webinar: Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP) Requirements and Benefits – May 2020
EPCS Webinar: Board Certified Physician Assistant Limits and Requirements – April 2020
EPCS Webinar: Prescribing Limits & Requirements Including Oral/Written/Fax Permissible Situations – March 2020
- Download Prescribing Limits & Requirements, Including Oral/Written/Fax Permissible Situations Presentation
2019 EPCS Click for Control Campaign Recorded Webinars
Click to download and watch the 2019 EPCS Click for Control Campaign Webinars below.
- CSPMP Control Substance Prescription Monitoring Program – Click Here
- EPCS: Written and Electronically Transmitted Prescription Requirements – Password: ePCS2019 – Click Here
- EPCS:Practice and Prescriber Readiness Webinar – Password: ePCS2019 – Click Here
- EPCS: Understanding the New Mandates & Regulations Webinar – Password: ePCS2019 Click Here
- EPCS: CSPMP Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program Webinar – Password: ePCS2019 – Click Here
- EPCS:Written and Electronically Transmitted Prescription Requirements Webinar – Password: ePCS2019 –Click Here
Arizona Board of Pharmacy Resources
Video link: https://youtu.be/ol206wj4LLY
Arizona Opioid Prescriber Educuation Program
Announcing the Arizona Opioid Prescriber Education Program
Download the AzRxEd Flyer Here
- Free online training on opioid laws, prescribing guidelines, and Medication Assisted Treatment.
- Fully-accredited continuing medical education for Arizona license renewal requirements for all providers.
About the program
The Arizona Opioid Prescriber Education program provides current and essential information about Arizona’s opioid laws and regulations, prescribing guidelines, and treatment options for opioid use disorder. The course modules are accredited for all types of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists and satisfy the three-hours of continuing medical education required by Arizona law.
The interactive online modules were developed by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals led by the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA) and Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions. The program is funded through a State Targeted Response Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).