Update: Medicare Part D Mandatory e-Prescribing Requirements

In our February 2021 Newsline article, PAAS alerted pharmacies to the delay in enforcement of Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) for Medicare Part D until January 1, 2022. As this new deadline approaches, CMS is once again considering extending compliance actions to January 1, 2023. While no decision on the extension has been made yet, pharmacies can find the proposed rule at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/23/2021-14973/medicare-program-cy-2022-payment-policies-under-the-physician-fee-schedule-and-other-changes-to-part.

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Once EPCS in Medicare Part D becomes mandatory, there are likely to be many exceptions where e-prescribing may be waived. As of January 19, 2021, sixteen states had already implemented their own EPCS requirements with twelve additional states looking to implement ECPS requirements by the end of 2021. What does this mean for pharmacy audits?

State required EPCS has been around for many years, going back as far as 2013 in New York state, and each state has laid out prescriber exceptions to the requirement, and in most cases, the pharmacy is not responsible for knowing if the prescriber has an exception in place. It is a good idea to check with your Board of Pharmacy if you are unsure of your state’s current EPCS requirements and exceptions.

Sara Hathaway, PharmD