Best Practice for Entering Transfers with Partial Refills Remaining

Transfer prescriptions carry a high audit risk due to the additional documentation required based on state regulations. Pharmacies receiving transferred prescriptions know that sometimes the quantity received is not always a number that is easy to enter in the pharmacy’s software system. The following scenario outlines the most common issue.

  • Pharmacy ABC received an electronic prescription for Januvia® 100 mg, 90 tablets plus 3 refills
  • Pharmacy ABC billed Januvia® for 27 tablets on the first fill to sync it with the patient’s other medications
  • The patient then requested a transfer of their Januvia® to Pharmacy XYZ
  • When Pharmacy XYZ receives the transferred Januvia®, there are 333 tablets left; equivalent to 3.7 fills of 90 tablets, or 90 tablets plus 7 refills

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If your pharmacy software system does not allow you to enter 90 tablets plus 2.7 refills, then the safest way to enter the prescription is for 333 tablets plus 0 refills, with a dispensed quantity of 90 tablets. However, beware of these additional audit pitfalls:

  1. Remember to refer to the original written quantity to ensure the correct dispensed quantity is filled.
    1. If you dispense a quantity less than the original written quantity, remember to notate the reason for cutting down the quantity (med sync, med packaging program, patient preference, etc.)
    2. If you dispense a larger quantity than the original written quantity, remember to obtain approval from the prescribing practitioner if you are in a state without accelerated refill permissions. If you are in a state that allows accelerated/consolidated refills, remember to notate the reason for dispensing a larger quantity (patient preference, plan limit, etc.).
    3. For more information regarding quantity changes, refer to the June 2021 Newsline article, Dispensed Quantity is Different from the Prescription – Do I Need to Document?
  2. Never dispense more than the quantity remaining on the prescription.
  3. Remember to enter the correct original written date to ensure the prescription is only filled while it is truly valid, not after it expires.
  4. Regardless of the method by which the pharmacy obtained the transfer (phone or fax), the origin code should be 5.

PAAS Tips:

Sara Hathaway, PharmD