CureMD has selected DrFirst to provide controlled substance e-prescribing (EPCS) capability to users of CureMD EHR, its cloud-based electronic health record system.
CureMD is adding DrFirst’s EPCS GoldSM 2.0 controlled substance e-prescribing functionality as part of its effort to help providers nationwide curtail the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. Additionally, CureMD EHR is used by a significant number of providers in the state of New York and its EPCS functionality will support compliance with New York’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Law (I-STOP), which requires electronic prescribing for all legend and controlled drugs beginning March 27, 2015.
“Before implementing EPCS Gold, many of our providers wanted to be able to send controlled substance scripts electronically,” said Bilal Hashmat, CEO of CureMD. “We chose DrFirst’s solution because the technology was easily integrated into our EHR, is cost-effective, and allowed our users to begin using EPCS quickly. DrFirst also manages provider onboarding and identity proofing for individual users and ensures they complete the necessary steps to start sending controlled substance prescriptions.”
While many doctors have access to or are familiar with e-prescribing for legend drugs, e-prescribing for controlled medications (Schedules II through V) requires additional components as governed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), including provider identity proofing, two-factor authentication functionality, and enhanced audit capabilities.
Controlled substance prescriptions represent approximately 10 percent of all prescriptions issued in the U.S. This coupled with greater technical requirements have historically slowed provider adoption of EPCS capability. However, EPCS offers significant social benefits to the greater healthcare system as it has been proven to assist providers in reducing prescription drug abuse and drug diversion, as well as in identifying ‘doctor shoppers’ attempting to attain controlled medications, such as hydrocodone combination drugs which are abused at epidemic levels.
DrFirst currently processes over 60 percent of all controlled substance electronic prescriptions nationwide, making it the leader in this field. The company’s recent data shows that provider adoption of EPCS is now increasing significantly. In the last three-month period, August through October 2014, EPCS prescription volume has jumped by more than 200 percent compared to the same period one year ago. Growing provider recognition of the benefits of EPCS, the rising number of pharmacies nationwide that are EPCS-enabled, and the greater number of EHR, EMR and HIS systems that are ready to handle EPCS, such as CureMD EHR, have all contributed to the large increase in EPCS volume. However, New York’s I-STOP law is seen by many as a leading indicator that similar initiatives will be pursued by other states and many healthcare organizations and providers have been encouraged to pursue EPCS in recent months as a result.
“Controlled substance management should be top-of-mind for EHR, EMR and HIS system vendors,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “For those with New York providers, they must allot time not only for the integration and implementation of the EPCS functionality itself but also for the identity proofing process that each provider must complete. CureMD moved quickly to ensure it’s New York users will be ready to meet the requirements of the I-STOP mandate, which means CureMD is also ready to support providers in any of the 49 states and the District of Columbia where EPCS is now legal.”