For a long time, government officials, health plans and IT vendors have been trying to get doctors to write prescriptions electronically. Many doctors have held back, though, because at least 10 percent of their scripts were for controlled substances like OxyContin and Vicodin, which can't legally be e-prescribed--and who wants to switch back and forth from paper to computer? Things may change soon, as the DEA has proposed a rule that would allow physicians to write e-scripts for controlled drugs. That being said, however, it still won't be easy to do. In fact, everyone involved will be required to comply with a boatload of regulations if they want to participate.
The controlled-substances e-prescribing rules impose a range of new regulations on doctors, hospitals and pharmacies that want to participate. Not only would doctors have to register in person with law-enforcement officials, but they'd also have to allow routine audits of their prescription records. Pharmacists, meanwhile, would have to verify weekly that doctors doing the prescribing remain licensed and in good standing, keep digital records of the controlled drug e-prescriptions and notify the DEA within 24 hours in the case of a security violation.
To learn more about the rules:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)
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DEA allows e-prescriptions for controlled drugs