The collaborative approach of Health Current prior to March 2017, to statewide health IT policy development was born out of a gubernatorial executive order in 2005 and the subsequent work of hundreds of organizations and individuals to create a Roadmap, which was a plan for connecting all Arizona healthcare providers through electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange (HIE).
Since its inception in 2007, Health Current helped develop model agreements and advanced public policy discussions to support a health information infrastructure in the state. Health Current has been a collaborative leader in advancing and advocating statewide public policy regarding health IT, including the passage of HB 2620 in 2011, which established rules and regulations for the secure and private exchange of health information in Arizona.
Another important piece of health IT and HIE legislation, HB 2369, was signed into law on April 4, 2012. This bill, which modifies and enhances state statues dealing with heath IT and health information organizations (HIOs) and also allows for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances, was made possible because of the successful collaboration of Health Current and many other healthcare community organizations.
The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, AZ Senate Bill 1001, establishes requirements and prohibitions for prescribing, administering and dispensing schedule II opioids. Beginning January 1, 2019, each prescription order for a schedule II opioid in Arizona’s five largest counties (Maricopa, 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.
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.