The 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
2019 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 2019 EPCS Click for Control Campaign. The 2019 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.