New York providers face challenges in meeting e-prescribing law deadline

E-prescribing in the state of New York becomes mandatory in a little over a month, but some hospitals and physicians are not quite ready.

Montefiore Health System, Northwell Health, NYU Langone Medical Center and Mount Sinai Health System are just some of the health systems asking for more time, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The law, the I-STOP Act, goes into effect March 27; the date was pushed back a year from March 27. 2015.

However, currently electronic prescribing of controlled substances continues to increase, particularly in New York, according to data released by Surescripts earlier this month. In the Empire State, 27 percent of total prescribers can do so electronically, and 93 percent of pharmacies are able to electronically receive e-prescriptions of controlled substances.

But issues still have cropped up during the transition, including technology challenges, patient convenience and the concerns that come with a new process, the WSJ article notes.

One problem on the patient convenience side includes that a pharmacy must be picked when a drug is prescribed; if the drug is not available the doctor will have to prescribe it again.

"The physician now has to deal with an angry patient, a belligerent patient, or a patient that insists they want this in writing," Joseph Maldonado, a urologist in Rome, New York, and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, told WSJ.

Paper scripts also gave patients a form of anonymity, the articled adds, allowing them to leave their community to pick up meds for a sensitive condition, like erectile dysfunction.

To learn more:
- here's the WSJ article