The opioid epidemic continues to make news and remain a priority for both state and federal officials. Keeping the abuse of prescription painkillers in check is difficult, as healthcare providers on the front lines know all too well. Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is one tool to help stem the crisis. EPCS is a Drug Enforcement Agency-certified solution mandated at the state level.
How it works
EPCS requires identity proofing to ensure that only an authorized prescriber is issuing prescriptions. This is accomplished with 2-factor authentication (2fa), which means more than 2 types of identification components are needed in the application sign-on process to authenticate identity. Typically, the 2 factors include a user-created password and a one-time password (OTP) produced by a hard or soft token. The most common form of 2fa is used at automated teller machines (ATMs). An ATM requires the user to possess a physical card, as well as provide a personal identification number (PIN). For EPCS, a third-party provider typically supports the use of the token and a fee is charged directly to the provider for the OTP token and identity proofing subscription. One token is required for each prescribing provider in the practice.
EPCS can help reduce fraud and abuse of controlled substances, as it allows providers to see patients’ medication histories, as reported by pharmacy benefit managers or participating pharmacies, at the point of care, and then ensures prescriptions are securely transmitted from provider to pharmacy.
EPCS offers many benefits for patients and providers, including:
- Decreasing the number of individuals who go “doctor shopping” for multiple prescriptions, and preventing patients from using forged prescriptions
- Eliminating dual-prescribing workflows to improve provider efficiency and satisfaction
- Increasing e-prescribing rates to help meet CMS reporting requirements
- Minimizing prescription errors
- Improving patient satisfaction by eliminating repeated doctor visits and long pharmacy wait times
As efforts to stem the opioid epidemic grow, the number of states mandating EPCS will also increase. Get your practice ready now. To obtain the full benefits of EPCS, find an ePrescribing solution that provides the ability to write and manage prescriptions electronically within the electronic health record (EHR), that includes insight into patient medication history and formulary checking.
To learn more about implementing EPCS call us at 1.888.835.3409.