June 2017

Maine Next in Line to Battle Opioid Abuse with EPCS

Opioid abuse is growing by epidemic proportions and no state is immune to its tragic effects—including Maine. In 2016, overdose deaths in the state increased 40% over the previous year.* The good news: Maine is gearing up to fight the epidemic with Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS).

On July 1, 2017, a new law will take effect in Maine that requires e-prescribing for all controlled substances containing opiates. It also limits the durations and quantities of opioid prescriptions and makes other requirements designed to minimize their abuse. When providers use EPCS, they can view comprehensive medication records to better determine if patients are “doctor shopping” or exhibiting other behaviors associated with drug abuse. EPCS also helps avoid prescription fraud or forgery.

With the law’s effective date rapidly approaching, many prescribers are working hard to become EPCS enabled. At the end of 2016, Maine was ranked 25th nationwide in terms of EPCS enablement with only 3.1% of prescribers enabled. This number has more than doubled to 6.8% as of April, 2017, but Maine still has a long way to go. Luckily, more than 99% of the state’s pharmacies are set up for EPCS, and most of the EHRs operating in Maine are already enabled for EPCS.

Maine EPCS enablement through April 30th, 2017

Adopting EPCS does take a bit of work—prescribers must complete identity proofing and credentialing processes—but the benefits of a single workflow for all prescriptions, and the health benefits for patients, are well worth the time and effort. If you’re a provider looking to become EPCS enabled, you can ease the transition by following the step-by-step process described on getEPCS.com. And be sure to visit surescripts.com to learn more about how we’re delivering actionable patient intelligence to improve patient care and safety.

As the fight against opioid abuse continues, EPCS is sure to become an increasingly powerful weapon—and that’s good news for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

*Source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/02/02/number-of-drug-deaths-in-maine-hit-record-in-2016/ 


March 2018

Surescripts Commends Congressional Leadership as EPCS Act Gains Traction in Senate, Following House Bill

In a letter presented to the U.S. Senate on February 27, Surescripts expressed strong support for the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, and thanked the policymakers who have championed this important bi-partisan bill. The letter was submitted for the record the same day the bill was introduced to the Senate. Read more...

January 2018

Surescripts Supports the AMA’s Work to Reduce Barriers to EPCS

The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest association of physicians and medical students, is working to reduce barriers to the implementation of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), as stated at its 2017 AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu. Read more...

December 2017

Technology’s Essential Role in Combatting Opioid Addiction

As most of us know from the news coverage or personal experience, our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. Opioid overdose caused more than 33,000 deaths in 2015 alone, and kills 91 Americans each day. Read more...