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iSTOP Legislation in New York Drove 28 Percent Increase in Number of Providers Enabled to E-Prescribe Controlled Substances

ARLINGTON, Va. – March 25, 2016 – Today, new data from Surescripts, the nation’s leading health information network, shows that more than 48,000 providers in New York have adopted technology to combat prescription fraud and abuse and improve patient care. Since March 1, the number of New York providers enabled for electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) increased 28 percent, as the state moves closer to the March 27 deadline to comply with the Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing (I-STOP) mandate that requires the use of electronic prescribing.

Doctors in New York are outpacing their counterparts in other states, with just eight percent of providers enabled for EPCS nationwide compared to 47 percent in New York. This is a significant improvement compared to one year ago, when fewer than two percent of providers in New York were ready. Meanwhile, pharmacy adoption of the technology is nearly universal, with 95 percent of pharmacies in New York enabled to receive prescriptions for controlled substances electronically.

This rapid increase in adoption was made possible because of electronic health record (EHR) software vendors’ certification of the technology, which is a necessity in order for prescribers to start using it. Currently, EHRs serving 96 percent of prescribers in New York are certified for EPCS. As a result, many providers are already utilizing the technology, with 37 percent of all EPCS transactions nationwide in March coming from New York.

“The industry has made remarkable progress in adopting this critical technology that can have a direct and immediate impact on improving patient care and saving lives,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “As we look beyond New York, we will continue to expand the connections we have with software vendors, providers and pharmacies to broaden the utilization of e-prescribing for controlled substances and add considerable value to the nation’s healthcare system.”

Electronic prescribing offers many benefits for patients, providers, pharmacies, and the healthcare system as a whole. It is safer and more convenient for patients by ensuring a prescription reaches a pharmacy, and it improves patient medication adherence. The technology is more efficient for doctors and pharmacists and improves prescription accuracy. E-prescribing of controlled substances is designed to improve both the doctor and the patient experience with increased safety and security while ensuring the patient’s choice of pharmacy.

In 2013, more than two million Americans abused prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone. Drug diversion is a significant concern when it comes to controlled substances, with between three and nine percent of diverted drugs for abuse tied to fraud or forgery of paper prescriptions1. E-prescribing can address drug diversion tied to fraud and forgery by eliminating paper prescriptions and leveraging technology and heightened security requirements that exist today.

Physicians can learn how to get enabled to transmit electronic prescriptions for controlled substances by visiting the online resource The website helps doctors and their staffs navigate the four steps needed to become enabled, including completing EHR software updates, ID proofing of prescribers, obtaining credentials for secure two-factor authentication prescription signing, and setting secure access controls.

1 Butler SF, Budman SH, Licari A, et al. National addictions vigilance intervention and prevention program (NAVIPPRO): a real-time, product-specifi c, public health surveillance system for monitoring prescription drug abuse. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2008; 17:1142–54. ALSO, Rosenblum A, Parrino M, Schnoll SH, et al. Prescription opioid abuse among enrollees into methadone maintenance treatment. Drug Alcohol Depend 2007; 90:64–71.

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