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Surescripts Network Alliance® Prepares to Implement NCPDP SCRIPT Version 2017071 - E-Prescribing Standard for Improved Prescription Accuracy, Patient Safety and Workflow Efficiency

Surescripts is at the forefront of industry efforts to transition to the new National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ (NCPDP) SCRIPT Version 2017071 as the January 1, 2020 deadline set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approaches. Healthcare organizations across the Surescripts Network Alliance® are making major progress in their transition to the new e-prescribing standard intended to facilitate the transfer of prescription data between pharmacies, prescribers and payers.

The new standard, established by CMS in April 2018, replaces NCPDP’s SCRIPT v10.6 standard and is designed to modernize e-prescribing, improve patient safety and prescription accuracy, and create workflow efficiencies for healthcare providers and pharmacies. SCRIPT Version 2017071 is used by healthcare organizations who offer Surescripts E-Prescribing, Medication History and Directories solutions to their end-users. Each year, Surescripts processes nearly four billion e-prescriptions and medication history messages nationwide.

“As a convener of the healthcare industry, we are proud to be a primary source of consistent and reliable guidance related to technical standards like NCPDP SCRIPT Version 2017071,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “We’re committed to partnering with all participants in the Surescripts Network Alliance to meet the requirements of the new standard and continue to advance e-prescribing’s positive impact on healthcare quality, cost and safety.”

The new standard will help minimize manual processes that currently require healthcare providers and pharmacies to leave their workflows to exchange critical patient care information. For example, the new standard will enable pharmacies to request changes to a prescription from a prescriber electronically, or it will allow a prescriber to electronically cancel a prescription that is no longer part of a patient’s therapeutic plan, all while including more data elements as part of the patient’s medication history. Additionally, the new standard will introduce transactions specific to the Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) settings, bringing much needed clarity, automation and efficiency in this unique healthcare area where a focus on in-person patient care is so critical.

Surescripts is providing ongoing support to help healthcare organizations meet the deadline and remain in compliance with the Medicare Part D E-Prescribing mandates that apply to their organization in 2020 and beyond. Any organization that uses Surescripts E-Prescribing Medication History or Directories services must contact Surescripts to share their migration plan and timeline.

“The resources and support that Surescripts has contributed to this effort has been integral to easing the industry through the transition to NCPDP SCRIPT Version 2017071,” said Aaron Forman, Chief Technology Officer at ScriptSure (Daw Systems, Inc.) “With more than 60 staff members working around the clock ahead of the deadline, as well as the innovative tools to help organizations migrate on a self-serve basis in some segments, we have everything we need for success. Surescripts has been a true marker of excellence during this complex migration.”

For the purposes of remediation, and for a limited time after the January 1 deadline, Surescripts will continue to provide translation services as appropriate between NCPDP SCRIPT Version 2017071 and SCRIPT v10.6 standards. The sunset date for SCRIPT v10.6 E-Prescribing, Medication History and Directories versions prior to 6.1 will be December 1, 2020 at 12 a.m. ET.

After the sunset date, Surescripts will no longer transmit or translate any transactions in SCRIPT v10.6, and all inbound SCRIPT v10.6 transactions will be rejected with corresponding error messaging. No exceptions will be granted beyond December 1, 2020 at 12 a.m. ET. All remediation in production must be completed prior to this date to avoid a disruption in service.

Review Surescripts NCPDP SCRIPT Version 2017071 Frequently Asked Questions and visit Intelligence in Action to learn more about the migration of E-Prescribing, Medication History and Directories. 

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