INTELLIGENCE IN ACTION

Surescripts Responds to Public Health Emergency Declaration for Opioid Epidemic

October 26, 2017

Surescripts supports the federal declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. This action will provide additional resources and increased urgency to assist in our collective response to the crisis. The opioid epidemic has killed thousands of Americans, and costs our nation billions of dollars in unnecessary health and social costs each year. As the nation’s health information network, we exist to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. We have been focused on addressing the opioid epidemic for many years. And we remain committed to our work in collaboration with the federal government as well as state and local officials, and our network partners, who are on the ground dealing with this epidemic in communities across the country. 

The good news is that technology exists today to help providers make the best-informed care decisions for patients who may be at risk of abuse or overdose. Whether that’s with electronic prescribing of controlled substances to eliminate paper prescriptions that can be stolen or forged, access to a patient’s prescription history to identify potential overuse or abuse, and sharing of care location information that can help identify potential “doctor shopping.” While we’ve seen substantial progress in some areas, with more than 45 million controlled substance prescriptions delivered electronically last year, more work is needed to drive adoption and utilization of these technologies nationwide. In New York, where electronic prescribing of controlled substances is mandated, nearly all prescriptions are delivered electronically. But nationwide, that number stands at just 14 percent. Another ten states are implementing or considering laws to help drive greater adoption and utilization of electronic prescribing of controlled substances, and we support the adoption of the federal EPCS Act into law in order to drive the same level of progress nationally.

Related Articles

November 11, 2019

50 Days and Counting: Take These Necessary Steps to Meet EPCS Requirements

Fraud and abuse are prevalent in the world of prescription painkillers. In 2017, a total of 61,311 people died from drug overdoses – with an estimated 40% from prescription opioid medicine. This is 61,311 too many. Opioid diversion is a significant cause of opioid misuse, with between 3% and 9% of diverted drugs tied to fraud or forgery of paper prescriptions.

Read more...
October 22, 2019

Now Trending: EPCS Among Physicians and Medicare Part D Patients

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, I am optimistic about the direction of a key provision outlined in the legislation, that is, the use of electronic prescribing of controlled substance (EPCS) among Medicare Part D providers.  Read more...
July 30, 2019

Lessons Learned: How Connecticut Implemented an EPCS Requirement That Was Effective and Embraced by the Medical Community

Connecticut’s Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) requirement came into effect in January 2018. As Drug Control Director, I often serve as an advisor to state legislators who want to ensure the bills they draft are effective once they become law, so I was very active in the 2017 legislative session. While crafting this bill, we looked at how other states managed implementation of EPCS and worked closely with medical professionals to ensure that our legislation was thoughtful. We knew we had to consider the day-to-day operations of regulators and medical professionals, and ultimately what was best for patients.

Read more...

INTELLIGENCE IN ACTION, DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX