What is I-STOP?
New York’s Internet System for Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP) aims to reduce the number of deaths caused by opioid addiction and the over-prescription of painkillers by implementing improved electronic monitoring methods. It was passed in 2012 as part of New York’s continuing effort to lead the way in programs to track, monitor and protect against prescription drug abuse.
Why do we need I-STOP?
In the past twenty years, drug overdose has been rising steadily as a leading cause of death in the United States.1 In 2013, 43,982 deaths were attributed to drug overdose, a majority of which are related to pharmaceutical abuse.1 With the drug overdose rate more than doubling since 1999, an average of 6.2 million American adults use prescription drugs non-medically.2
How does I-STOP affect my practice?
As of August 27th, 2013, all New York prescribers have been required to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry when writing a prescription for a Schedule II, III and IV controlled substance. In order to consult the PMP, prescribers must have a health commerce system (HCS) account. If you haven’t already, you can apply for an HCS account online through the New York State Department of Health.
The next phase of this program will go into effect on March 27, 2016 and required all drugs (including controlled substances) to be prescribed electronically.
What are the benefits of I-STOP?
I-STOP is intended to help practitioners better evaluate their patients being treated with controlled substance and was passed to help:
Prevent prescription drug abuse and overdose
By better tracking and monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances, drug abuse and overdose can be reduced.
Prevent prescription fraud
By moving to a 100% electronic prescription system, paper prescription pads can no longer be stolen, forged, or altered to illegally obtain a prescription drug.
Prevent prescription errors
Utilizing modern prescription technology has the potential to minimize medication errors for patients in New York State. Electronic prescribing also allows for the integration of prescription records directly into the patient’s electronic medical record.
Prevent double doctoring/doctor shopping
Double doctoring and doctor shopping refer to patients seeking care from multiple physicians simultaneously, often with the intent of receiving additional prescriptions. I-STOP allows providers to more easily access a patient’s prescription history in order to prevent this type of abuse.
Are there any exceptions to I-STOP?
The I-STOP mandate does not apply to veterinarians. All other prescribers of controlled substances requires the prescription to be transmitted electronically, regardless of the amount of supply. An exception to this is that a paper or oral prescription may be issued for a controlled substance, that does not exceed a 5 day supply, ONLY if the practitioner reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient to obtain substances prescribed by electronic prescription in a timely manner, AND such delay would adversely impact the patient’s medical condition.