NY delays mandatory EPCS for 1 year

March 2, 2015

The State Assembly and Senate have approved legislation to delay mandatory electronic prescribing of controlled substances in New York for one year.

The State Assembly and Senate have approved legislation to delay mandatory electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) in New York for one year.

With only about 12% of healthcare providers in the state ready for EPCS, it was necessary to give doctors and other healthcare prescribers and electronic health-record vendors time to meet the Drug Enforcement Agency’s requirements for EPCS. Now providers will have until March 2016 to comply with mandatory EPCS.

According to the bill, A04274, the DEA was slow in certifying EHR vendors that are able to transmit electronic prescriptions of controlled substances. “As a result, many doctors and other prescribers around the state, many of whom have electronic records and e-prescribing capability, have contracts with vendors who have not yet received the necessary federal certification,” the bill stated. “This legislation will provide additional time.”

Although the majority of healthcare providers in an ambulatory setting (about 87%) are not ready for EPCS, according to Surescripts’ data in January 2015, 65% of pharmacies in New York were EPCS-enabled.

Surescripts has launched an education campaign, www.GetEPCS.com to help encourage adoption of EPCS. The company expects to deliver approximately 5 million e-Rxs of controlled substances nationwide this year, which would represent a 400% increase over last year.