On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that would postpone the deadline for doctors in the state of New York to use only electronic prescriptions to March 27, 2016 . According to lawmakers, many physicians still lack the required federal approval for their computer systems to perform electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) intended to prevent prescription fraud, Washington Times report.
“This is a victory for patient safety,” said Dr. Andrew Kleinman, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York in a statement. “The fact that many software companies are not ready for e-prescribing could have resulted in patients’ inability to fill their prescriptions.”
EPCS plays an important role in combating America’s opioid abuse epidemic by eliminating the exposure of a physician’s signature and DEA number. 21 million original prescriptions for opioids were written, not including refills, in a state with 19.5 million residents, according to the impetus for New York.
“If prescribers and pharmacies in New York are going to be able to take full advantage of the breathing room afforded by Governor Cuomo’s decision today, then we all must continue to work very diligently to prepare for this somewhat delayed, but still looming, legal mandate that all prescriptions issued in the state be transmitted electronically. Surescripts will continue its intense focus on driving the adoption and utilization of e-prescribing in New York, with our ultimate goal being to connect healthcare organizations to improve care and curb prescription fraud, diversion and abuse. We will work diligently with all of our customers to help them achieve full compliance with the I-STOP law. Providers who want to learn more about the process of enabling e-prescribing of controlled substances can visit www.GetEPCS.com to get started today,” said Ken Whittemore, Jr., R.Ph., SVP of Professional & Regulatory Affairs, Surescripts in a statement.
photo credit: Erin DeMay via cc