An Arizona Campaign to Increase the E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances
The electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is now legal in Arizona and many states require or will require EPCS for any prescription of a Schedule II opioid. To increase EPCS in Arizona and prepare Arizona prescribers for the new state requirement, mandated by the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, Health Current has launched the Click for Control Campaign.
Arizona Opioid E-Prescribing Requirement:
Beginning January 1, 2019, each prescription order for a Schedule II opioid in Arizona’s six largest counties (Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma) must be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy. Beginning July 1, 2019, these same requirements go into effect in all other Arizona counties (Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Navajo and Santa Cruz).
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
- Set up access controls
- Obtain dual authentication device or process
- 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 which includes a provision requiring each prescription for a Schedule II opioid to be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy. The legislation was set to go into effect for Arizona’s six largest counties by January 1, 2019, with the requirement going into effect in the remaining counties by July 1, 2019. A one-year waiver is available to practitioners who face hardships that prevent the implementation of EPCS by the deadline. If you determine that you will be unable to meet the EPCS requirements, you can download a waiver form and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the DEA rule and Arizona statute allow for EPCS in Arizona, it has taken time for prescribers, pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers to implement the necessary system functionality to meet the DEA requirements. This is primarily due to the e-prescribing system vendors’ implementation of the significant DEA standards and requirements.
EPCS-Certified EHR Vendors and Costs
Click for Control Webinars
Health Current is hosting a series of free webinars below on the benefits of EPCS and the new Arizona law that will require any prescription of a Schedule II opioid to be transmitted electronically beginning January 1, 2019.
Click on the dates below to register for a webinar. Registration is completed through Event Brite.
Note: Check with your EHR or e-prescribing vendor to determine if you will be able to implement EPCS. If you determine that you face hardships in implementing EPCS by the deadline, please see the information on a one-year waiver below.
One-Year Waiver Available
A one-year waiver is available to practitioners who face hardships that prevent the implementation of EPCS. If you determine that you will be unable to meet the EPCS requirements, you can download a waiver form and email the completed form to email@example.com