NYS I-STOP for e-Prescribers Deadline Looms Large

The New York State Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act established a real-time database which tracks controlled substance prescriptions issued by every doctor in the state of New York, with certain exceptions. This database allows doctors and pharmacists to have access and to keep track of all of the controlled substance prescriptions their patients are receiving. Its purpose is to stop over prescribing, drug abuse and curb the practice of ‘doctor shopping’.

The New York State e-prescribing mandate deadline is on March 27th and all NY e-prescribing providers should already be working on implementing solutions to allow their staff enough time for setup and training. Adequate time is also required for the application process which can take several weeks. All prescriptions for controlled drugs in the state of New York must be sent electronically (e-prescribed) by March 27, 2016.

The New York State Department of Health is concerned about procrastination and recently sent the following letter to all e-prescribers in the state.

Effective March 27, 2016, electronic prescribing for both controlled and non-controlled substances will be required in New York State. This mandate does not apply to veterinarians. Electronic prescribing of both controlled and non-controlled substances is currently permissible in New York. In order to process electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS), a prescriber must select and use a certified electronic prescribing computer application that meets all federal requirements. Each unique certified computer application used to electronically prescribe controlled substances must first be registered by the practitioner with the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE). Please be aware that implementation timelines for EPCS software vary and may be lengthy. If you have not already begun this process, BNE strongly recommends that you begin immediately. Prescribers who have certified EPCS software and have completed the registration process are highly encouraged to begin electronically prescribing instead of using paper, to allow for time to resolve technical or workflow issues prior to the mandate’s effective date. Useful information related to electronic prescribing, including frequently asked questions, information regarding the EPCS registration process, and a downloadable patient-centered brochure to help your patients better understand electronic prescribing can be found on our website at www.health.ny.gov/professionals/narcotic. If you have any questions about the electronic prescribing mandate, please call 1-866- 811-7957, option 1.

Please click here for a checklist and instructions on how to sign up for an account and enable e-prescribing.