New Electronic Prescribing Law Takes Effect January 1, 2021

by Billy Tarpley on May 8, 2019

The General Assembly passed a new law requiring that any prescription for controlled substances be prescribed through an electronic prescription beginning January 1, 2021. This new state law coincides with the start date for a federal law, which also requires electronic prescribing of controlled substances for all Medicare beneficiaries. Both the federal and state laws are aimed at reducing fraudulent and forged prescriptions, which may make up as much as nine percent of the total number of controlled substance prescriptions. Prescribers can transmit electronic controlled substance prescription through either their electronic medical record systems or through stand-alone electronic prescribing apps. Additionally, both the federal and state laws provide the ability for a prescriber to request a waiver for up to one year for financial or other hardships that would prevent them from complying with the new law. An exception is also built into the law for technology or power failures or if the prescriber believes that the electronic prescription would delay access to care by the patient.

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