The world of e-prescribing in the United States will undergo a major shift in 2021. As part of attempts to halt the opioid crisis, state and federal governments have introduced new Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandates. EHRs, EMRs, and e-prescribing software vendors must comply with these new EPCS mandates by 2021. Here’s a full guide to what’s coming down the pipeline:
Federal EPCS Deadline
On January 1, 2021, the United States will mandate that providers use e-prescribing software when prescribing controlled substances with opioids under a Medicare Part D plan. This is part of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was signed into law in October 2018.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is considering a delay, but as of now, there are no official orders to do so.
State EPCS Deadlines
Many states have already enacted e-prescribing mandates. Minnesota was the first state to enact a mandate in 2011, and New York was the first to institute a mandate with penalties in 2016. Others have followed suit since. Please reference your local rules to determine any penalties or fines that stem from non-compliance.
List of States with EPCS Laws Already Enacted
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
List of States with EPCS Laws Starting on January 1, 2021
- South Carolina
List of States with EPCS Mandates Starting on Other Dates in 2021
- Colorado — July 1, 2021 for podiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and optometrists; July 1, 2023 for dentists and rural practitioners
- Florida — last deadline for EPCS mandate is July 1, 2021
- Kansas — July 1, 2021
- Washington — September 30, 2021
List of States with EPCS Mandates Starting on January 1, 2022
- List of States With Pending Legislation
- New Hampshire — If the law passes, effective date would be 60 days after enactment
- Nebraska — If the law passes, effective date would be January 1, 2021
- New Jersey — If the law passes, effective date would be one year after enactment
- West Virginia — The effective date if the law passes is not yet known.
States with no EPCS Mandate at Present
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
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