Electronic Prescribing Requirements

Posted in Latest News on October 21, 2019.

House Bill 831 (2019), Electronic Prescribing, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis. The effective date is January 1, 2020. The bill provides important new requirements for prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically upon licensure renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier.

The law requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescription electronically, unless:

  • The practitioner and the dispenser are the same entity;
  • The prescription cannot be transmitted electronically under the most recently implemented version of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard;
  • The practitioner has been issued a waiver by the department, not to exceed 1 year, due to demonstrated economic hardship, technology limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the practitioner, or another exceptional circumstance demonstrated by the practitioners;
  • The practitioner reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient in question to obtain a medicinal drug prescribed by electronic prescription in a timely manner and such delay would adversely impact the patient’s medical condition;
  • The practitioner is prescribing a drug under a research protocol;
  • The prescription is for a drug for which the federal Food and Drug Administration requires the prescription to contain elements that may not be included in electronic prescribing;
  • The prescription is issued to an individual receiving hospice care or who is a resident of a nursing home facility; or
  • The practitioner determines that it is in the best interest of the patient, or the patient determines that it is in his or her own best interest to compare prescription drug prices among area pharmacies. The practitioner must document such determination in the patient’s medical record.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a waiver?

The form will be available soon. Check back for updates.

Is there a waiver process?

The waiver form is currently being formed will be placed on each prescribing Board’s website once completed. The prescribing practitioner will complete the waiver form and submit it directly to their respective Board Office. The Executive Director will approve or deny the waiver, notify the practitioner, then add the form into the department’s licensing system.

When do I have to start electronically prescribing?

After January 1, 2020, you must start electronically prescribing upon licensure renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier.

What if I don't maintain electronic health records?

Then this law does not pertain to your current practices.

What does interoperable and accessible digital format mean?

Interoperability refers to the architecture or standards that make it possible for a different EHR systems to exchange information between providers. Digital accessibility is the ability of an electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those with disabilities.

What is the definition of an electric health record? How do I know if I'm using an electronic health records system? Surely every practice management 'chart' is not an electric health record.

An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. Typically an EHR system consists of computer hardware and software that is purchased or leased.

Do we have to electronically prescribe controlled substances, or do we continue to use our counterfeit proof pads?

Practitioners who do not have access to their practice or place of employment to an EHR system may still provide written prescriptions to patients. There are other circumstances under which a practitioner with an EHR does not have to prescribe electronically: if the practitioner and the dispenser are the same entity; if the prescription cannot be transmitted under the most recently implemented version fo the NCPDP SCRIPT program; if a DOH waiver has been issued; if it is impractical for a patient to obtain in a timely manner a drug electronically prescribed; the drug is under a research protocol; the prescription is for a drug for which the FDA requires the prescription to contain elements that may not be included in electronic prescribing; the prescription is for a patient receiving hospice care or who is a resident of a nursing facility; or the practitioner or patient determines that it is in the best interest of the patient to be able to compare drug prices among area pharmacies.

What about weekends and holidays – can I not phone in a call-in prescription anymore?

Weekends are not different than in business days.

Is there a list of companies that offer electronic prescribing?

There are companies that sell, lease, and service electronic health record systems. If the practitioner does not maintain such a system, then the mandate to electronically prescribe does not apply.



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