August 28, 2015

With EPCS Legal Nationwide, There is Still Work to Do

Similar to the critical yet complex path to industry interoperability, the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) still has a ways to go before reaching its full potential. However, today Vermont becomes the final state to legalize EPCS for all schedules of controlled drugs. With EPCS now legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, this is a milestone that deserves to be recognized and celebrated.

Over the past five years since the federal Drug Enforcement Administration adopted rules to permit EPCS, state level EPCS rule adoption has had its challenges. But now providers and pharmacies across the country who have adopted EPCS will have the ability to prescribe controlled substances through the Surescripts e-prescribing platform. This will only continue to improve patient safety by decreasing prescription fraud and abuse, both necessary components for a nationwide impact on population health.

The progress of EPCS is linked closely with states’ efforts to help curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic plaguing our nation. In 2014 alone, there were more deaths from prescription drug abuse than cocaine and heroin combined. In addition, prescription drug overdose deaths outnumber deaths by gunshot wounds or car crashes. Rightfully so, EPCS is now receiving the attention and recognition it deserves as a necessary step to combating drug diversion and improving quality throughout the system.

From 2013 to 2014, EPCS transactions grew by 400 percent and show no sign of stopping there, with the industry expecting substantial growth this year as well. Within the first few months of 2015, EPCS transaction volume exceeded all of last year’s transactions by over 25 percent. While statistics have shown that provider adoption is still low, sitting at a mere four percent versus pharmacies, which are at 80 percent enablement, it is good to remember that basic e-prescribing also took many years to be adopted. The industry worked hard to make e-prescribing the norm, and the same will be true for EPCS.  Prescribers can visit www.GETEPCS.com to learn more about the steps needed to utilize the technology, which really aren’t that difficult.

EPCS is paving the road for a safer healthcare system, and as a result, the industry is changing for the better. Which states were the earliest – and latest – to legalize EPCS? Please see below for our virtual progression timeline!

EPCS Gif

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

October 24, 2018

Surescripts Applauds New Law to Drive Adoption of Technology to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Surescripts commends Congress for passing and President Trump for signing H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act into law on October 24, 2018. This law will support the broader adoption of existing technology that can help deter prescription fraud, diversion and abuse. Today marks a major milestone in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and save lives. Read more...

July 05, 2018

Key Technologies for Fighting Opioid Misuse are Gaining Traction

The statistics are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opioid epidemic now takes more lives in the U.S. than breast cancer. In addition, American life expectancy at birth declined for the second consecutive year in 2016 due to a dramatic 21 percent rise in the death rate from drug overdoses. Our nation has not experienced a two-year consecutive decline in life expectancy since the early 1960s as a result of an influenza epidemic. Even the worst mortality rate of the AIDS epidemic in 1993 caused American life expectancy to drop for just one year. Read more...

July 02, 2018

Maine Required E-Prescribing for Opioids Last Year—and the Results Are In

This time last year, Maine implemented legislation that requires electronic prescribing for opioids. At the time, Maine ranked 25th in the nation based on prescriber and pharmacist enablement and utilization of the technology, known as E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS). Now the state is ranked third in the nation, with virtually all its pharmacies and more than half of all its prescribers enabled for the technology as of May 2018. New York leads the nation, having implemented a legislative requirement in 2016 that requires all prescriptions to be delivered electronically, including controlled substances. Read more...

INTELLIGENCE IN ACTION, DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX