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. The deadline for compliance will be January 1, 2022. 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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