How To Obtain An e-Prescribing Waiver In New York

How To Obtain An e-Prescribing Waiver in New York

Electronic Prescribing for legend drugs and controlled substances (EPCS) is now mandatory for all New York State prescribers.

Waivers from this electronic prescribing mandate will be difficult to obtain. However, the New York Department of Health has clarified several “exceptional circumstances” that will be exempt from New York’s e-prescribing mandate:

  1. Controlled or non-controlled substances containing two or more products that are compounded by a pharmacist;
  2. Controlled or non-controlled substances compounded for the direct administration to a patient by parenteral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intraspinal infusion;
  3. Controlled or non-controlled substances that contain long or complicated directions;
  4. Controlled or non-controlled substances required by the federal Food and Drug Administration that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  5. Controlled or non-controlled substances prescribed under approved protocols under expedited partner therapy, collaborative drug management or in response to a public health emergency that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  6. Opioid antagonists that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  7. Controlled or non-controlled substances prescribed under a research protocol;
  8. Controlled or non-controlled substances prescribed through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated to a pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services, by an agent who is a health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined in section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law;
  9. A pharmacist dispensing controlled and non-controlled substance compounded prescriptions, prescriptions containing long or complicated directions, and prescriptions containing certain elements required by the FDA or any other governmental agency that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  10. A pharmacist dispensing prescriptions issued under a research protocol, or under approved protocols for expedited partner therapy, or for collaborative drug management;
  11. A pharmacist dispensing non-patient specific prescriptions, including opioid antagonists, or prescriptions issued in response to a public health emergency issued;
  12. A pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services dispensing a controlled or non-controlled substance through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated by an agent who is a health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined in section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law.

In addition, waivers may be granted under these circumstances:

  • Economic hardship
  • Technological limitations that the provider can’t control. This doesn’t include an EMR system that isn’t equipped for e-prescribing, since stand-alone e-prescribing solutions are available

Providers who previously obtained a waiver from the requirement to consult the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program Registry are NOT exempt from electronic prescribing. A separate waiver for EPCS is required.

Learn more about EPCS and how to get started: Attend an EPCS webinar

Getting started e-prescribing is easier than you think

EPCS GoldSM by DrFirst enables you to send electronic prescriptions for controlled substances within the same workflow you use to e-prescribe legend drugs. It makes prescribing more efficient, advances patient medication adherence, and increases convenience for your patients. Getting started is easier than you think. Click here to learn more. 

How to request an e-prescribing waiver: Single practitioners

Single practitioners with economic or technical hardships or other exceptional circumstances preventing them from electronically prescribing legend drugs and controlled substances may request a waiver online through the New York State Health Commerce System website at https://commerce.health.state.ny.us.

Either the practitioner or an approved staff representative can file the request. Once logged in, click on “All Applications” under the “My Content” tab, then click on “E.” Scroll down and double-click on “Electronic Prescribing Waivers.”

Select the provider’s name from a list of names in the Electronic Prescribing Waivers application. Select the appropriate name. If the name appears more than once, select the option that starts with the profession, such as Medicine-###### Doe John, and click “Save.”

On the “Waiver Requests Summary” screen, click “Create Waiver Request for Self.” Follow screen instructions to get to the EPCS “Waiver Request” screen to fill out information including the waiver site address or addresses, the type of prescriptions (controlled substances or non-controlled substances), the reason or reasons for the waiver, and a detailed description of the hardship(s). Supporting documentation can be uploaded.

Want to learn more? Register for one of our upcoming EPCS/NY webinars.

 

How to request an e-prescribing waiver: Medical group practice

The process for requesting a waiver is similar for a medical group practice with two or more practitioners.

After logging in to https://commerce.health.state.ny.us and following the initial directions above, select the name of the medical group from the list and click on “Create Waiver Request.” If unable to select the name of the practice, select the name of a practitioner and on the “Waiver Requests Summary” screen, click on “Create Waiver Request for Multiple Practitioners.”

The state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement recommends uploading the Practitioner License List (CSV file) when requesting a waiver for the medical group practice site.

When filling out the “Waiver Request” information, you’ll be asked to upload a file of the practitioners included in the request and a file of practitioner attestations along with the address, type of prescriptions, reasons for the waiver and supporting documentation.

Detailed instructions on how to fill out the Electronic Prescribing Waivers request are available in the BNE document, “Frequently Asked Questions for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances.”

Providers may ask to be notified when the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau for Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) sends out an alert regarding waivers. Make the request to: narcotic@health.ny.gov and include your name, address, medical license number and National Provider Identifier (NPI).

Want to learn more? Register for one of our upcoming EPCS/NY webinars.