CMS to end e-prescription fax exemption

November 28, 2007

Beginning January 2009, computer-generated fax prescriptions will no longer be exempted from the requirement to meet the NCPDP SCRIPT standard according to CMS.

CMS has finalized aNCPDP SCRIPT standard. The new rule is set to go into effect January 2009. According to CMS, most e-prescribing software can meet the standard, though some providers may have to upgrade their software to comply. According to the agency, the changes will force additional costs onto pharmacies not currently conducting transactions that comply with the SCRIPT standard, but CMS argues that "those costs would be balanced by administrative savings." The change will not impact the current exemption for long-term care facilities. Noncompliant computer faxes will still be accepted as a backup in instances of transmission failure or other communication problem with a compliant e-prescription.

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