June 7th, 2017
By: David Gutierrez
As opioid abuse grows in epidemic proportions, no state is immune to its tragic effects – including Maine. In 2016, Surescripts reported overdose related deaths increased by 40% from the previous year. The good news: Maine is gearing up to fight the epidemic with implementing legislation that requires Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS).
On July 1, 2017, the law takes effect in Maine, requiring e-prescribing for all controlled substances containing opiates. This also limits the durations and quantities of opioid prescriptions, as well as other requirements designed to minimize the abuse of these medications. When prescribers use EPCS, they can view comprehensive medication records to better determine if patients are “doctor shopping” or exhibiting other behaviors associated with drug abuse. Additionally, EPCS helps avoid prescription fraud or forgery.
With the law’s effective date rapidly approaching, many prescribers are working hard to become EPCS enabled. At the end of 2016, Maine was ranked 25th nationwide in terms of EPCS enablement with only 3.1% of prescribers enabled. As of April 2017, this number has more than doubled to 6.8%, but Maine still has a long way to go.
Fortunately, more than 99% of the state’s pharmacies are set-up for accepting EPCS, and most Electronic Health Records operating in Maine are already enabled for EPCS.
RxNT|eRx helps fight against opioid abuse in all 50 states and even meets the requirements mandated in states, such as New York. RxNT|eRx has made the dreaded Identity Proofing process bearable, without ever having to leave your account. Immediately after prescribers authenticate their identity, they are able to electronically send controlled and noncontrolled substances directly to the pharmacy.
EPCS is sure to become an increasingly powerful weapon—and that’s good news for healthcare professionals and patients alike.