As 2021 is progressing. Many independent healthcare organizations are gone off guard due to the barrage of state and federal mandates in 2021. For example, there are EPCS laws for organizations to follow with mandatory compliance regulations. What are these mandates? Are you ready for these mandates?
How do you assure your practice doesn’t fall out of compliance?
Why are these mandates popping up now? These are all great questions. It is simple to have missed until now though these mandates were announced a while ago. Providers have had plenty to do & they all get busy. But no worries there is still time to get ready. You can streamline your operations in the compliance process and get prepared for the state of EPCS mandates in 2021.
What Is Meant By EPCS Mandates?
EPCS is defined as Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances. It allows clinic prescribers for controlled substances to write prescriptions electronically and eradicates the need for paper prescriptions. This makes the prescriptions trackable and digitized for the pharmacy or prescriber.
These mandates enable you to maintain client security by ensuring in-state PDMPs (Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs). In the latter state, such prescriptions are easily trackable and also aid you to eradicate prescription opioid abuse.
You will stay ahead of the looming deadlines and ensure compliance with EPCS mandates. It would be an excellent thought to initiate the process. Everyone will go in motion soon as by now more than half of the US falls under the mandate of EPCS.
Your staff and you should be aware that this might be an efficient method of implementing e-prescription or electronic tools rather than writing prescriptions.
Moreover, you can prevent drug overdoses as it is an indispensable tool against this war.
It has taken an impact in 2021 as every federal government has required the mandate ‘’Every Prescription Conveyed Securely’’. As e-prescribing is now part of this mandate that’s the reason it has scored much importance. January 01, 2020, was the first deadline to stay compliant with EPCS mandates for required states.
In addition to this, many states have mandates that need all prescriptions and certain controlled substances’ electronic prescriptions. In many more states, the EPCS mandates of 2021 are taking effect on the first of the new year.
Many states have later dates to enforce their EPCS mandates by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). In both ways, this is the right time to get prepared.
Which States Has Used EPCS In January 2020?
As mentioned above, to comply with the EPCS mandates the first deadline was Jan-01-2020. States such as Massachusetts, Arizona, Oklahoma, Iowa, North Carolina, and Rhode Island had required EPCS. That encourages you to acknowledge it as a part of a progressive trend across the United States involving the federal mandate of EPCS that will take effect in 2022 after 2021.
How To Get Compliant? What Should You Need To Do?
You should have software that must be an EPCS-certified electronic prescribed. Some providers can take a shift if their current software is slow and they still use paper prescriptions or are unresponsive, or they’re not certified for EPCS. It needs multiple additional measures for EPCS mandates.
- For the October 2021 mandate, you will require PDMP access. However, this access is challenging to fit with the workflow of a healthcare organization while state-run or free solutions exist.
- A person can’t access electronic prescription software if he doesn’t have two-factor authorization. It adds an extra layer of security. This two-factor authentication requires more than just a password to access prescription software. Besides, this extra security comes in the form of a cell phone or smart card token and a fingerprint biometric verification to gain data access.
- Healthcare organizations while dealing with electronic prescribing software must establish proof of identity for that person who issues the prescriptions by these digital frameworks. Based on the particular demands set out by the state, you can conduct this in-house too. Yet, certification authority and credential service providers can also identify proofing if it can be done by providers individually.
- You require two-person in the facility with logical access controls. One is required to set up electronic prescription software access. It includes preparing the list of proofed persons, getting the approval of that list, requiring an individual to enter the data and one to get it approved.
What Are Federal EPCS’ Requirements?
The US DEA. (Drug Enforcement Agency) allowed the physicians back in 2010 to utilize EPCS. To comply with the DEA requirements, consider an EPCS system that must involve;
- EHR/e-prescribing application certification.
- Two-step verification for those providers who sign an EPCS prescription.
- To prescribe controlled substances ID proof to verify a provider has the authorization
- Identifies any incidents and auditable events around breaches of security.
- Detailed reporting that comprehensively shows compliance.
- EPCS permissions to approved prescribers by two-step logical access control.
How EHR Solutions Can Benefit You To Get Ready?
To integrate relevant access protocols and PDMP data you need a flexible, fast, responsive electronic health record system that must be certified by EPCS. Ideally, it will enable you to accommodate changes in care procedures and require an efficient EHR system designed according to the best functionality to meet all the needs of your organization. You become able to focus on other core competencies of your healthcare business when you have efficient systems to fully integrate PDMP data and ease your clinical workflow.
The Mandatory EPCS States
Currently In Effect:
- North Carolina.
- New York.
- Rhode Island.
January 2021 In Effect:
- South Carolina
January 2022 In Effect:
January 2023 In Effect:
July 2021 In Effect:
July 2023 In Effect:
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