When it comes to practice management, the administrative and bureaucratic needs are not where your team wants to get bogged down. Unfortunately, lawmakers don’t spend much time at the small medical and dental practices that struggle to keep up with evolving regulations and mandatory programs. Similarly, your dental practice doesn’t want to spend its time poring over legal changes, but keeping up with EPCS and ePrescribing mandates is essential, even more so for dental service organizations (DSOs). Thankfully, there are tools on the market designed to help you meet those mandates all while improving your practice’s productivity and efficiency and patient safety and satisfaction.
- What is EPCS?
- What are EPCS Mandates?
- How are EPCS Mandates Changing?
- What Your Dental Practice Needs to Prepare for EPCS Mandates
What is EPCS?
EPCS is electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. In 2010, the federal drug enforcement agency (DEA) determined that it was in the best interest of all parties to enable doctors and providers to write electronic prescriptions for controlled substances and pharmacists to receive, fill, and archive those prescriptions.
What Are EPCS Mandates?
EPCS mandates require that any and all controlled substances be prescribed electronically.
Despite an apparent understanding of how EPCS can change how controlled substances are prescribed and help ensure the safety of patients and improve efficiency, the federal government has yet to establish a national mandate on EPCS. However, doctors should be aware that on January 1, 2023 all Medicare Advantage and Part D prescriptions must be transmitted electronically.
While the federal government has yet to mandate EPCS, many states have. In 2011, Minnesota became the first state to require it and since then more than 35 other states have also implemented mandates. This can, for many, make the system confusing, but thankfully there are systems in place to help providers keep themselves informed and their patients safe while adhering to any regulations or laws regarding controlled substances.
How Are EPCS Mandates Changing?
As is clear above, EPCS mandates, since their inception, are constantly evolving. While single practices can monitor their specific state for changes and updates, DSOs will have to be even more mindful. While all 50 states have implemented a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), the same is not true for EPCS.
Until there is a federal mandate, states will come aboard piecemeal and monitoring for whether a state is currently mandating EPCS or if they’re planning to move in that direction is vital. Further, where some states require only controlled substances be handled electronically, other states are moving towards handling all prescriptions that way.
What Your Dental Practice Needs to Prepare for EPCS Mandates
Obviously, the first thing your dental practice needs is to understand what state laws and mandates exist. For some practices, it may be worth preparing for the changes and initiating an ePrescribing solution even if it’s not yet required by state mandate. Most ePrescription software provides significant cost and efficiency benefits and advantages as well as mandate compliance.
The DEA also has its own requirements regarding the ePrescription software utilized by your dental practice. More specifically, the DEA requires that your EPCS solution includes:
- EPCS certification
- Two-factor authentication to ensure secure system logins
- Robust reporting for compliance and security audits
So step two is finding the right EPCS tool for your dental practice. You may want to consider an EPCS software that automatically connects to your state’s prescription drug monitoring program saving you time and effort. The right software will also help you identify any potential interactions or allergies and enable you to do that from anywhere using desktop, laptop or mobile.
In addition to making the right software choice, EPCS also requires that your dental practice maintain stringent data security practices and policies to ensure the safety of prescription transmissions and patient data.
Essentially, choosing ePrescription software is about choosing the right software partner for your dental practice’s security and success. With over 90 product endorsements from industry organization’s iCoreConnect’s solutions ensure you get an industry partner who understands not just your needs but your challenges and goals as well.
From ePrescribing to insurance verifications, we put security, efficiency, productivity, and profitability at the forefront. We also make our team accessible to you. Our team personally guides you through the entire process of getting registered and set up to ePrescribe controlled substances. Book a demo with iCoreConnect today!