For background information about the law, please visit the CMA webpage which contains a concise, thorough overview of the requirement.
Board of Pharmacy Issues Guidance on Written Scripts
ACCMA has received reports of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions not transmitted electronically since provisions of Business and Profession Code (BPC) section 688 – which requires most prescriptions to be issued and received as electronic data prescriptions (or e-prescriptions) – took effect January 1, 2022.
The Board of Pharmacy (BOP) has clarified that pharmacists are not required to verify that a written, oral, or faxed prescription falls under one of the exceptions of the e-prescription law; and pharmacists may continue to dispense medications from legally valid written, oral, or faxed prescriptions pursuant to law. Thus, under BPC section 688, pharmacists can fill a legally valid written, oral or faxed prescription if the only issue is that the prescription was not received electronically.
BOP advises that when deciding whether to refuse to dispense an otherwise legally valid written, oral or faxed prescription solely because it was not transmitted electronically, a pharmacist should consider the impact on the patient and continuity of care. Click here for a copy of the notice, which can be provided to pharmacies if you believe a refusal is unjustified.
CMA recorded a webinar in June on Preparing for California’s Electronic Prescribing Mandate, available on demand here. As a member, you can view this webinar for free. Click here for the slides from the CMA webinar. Slide 20 has a link to a list of vendors with stand-alone e-prescribing systems.
Short List of E-Rx Systems
As a time saving measure, the ACCMA has solicited recommendations from trusted sources that may be good options for some physicians who do not already have e-prescribing capability. Please note that the ACCMA has not evaluated and does not endorse any of these solutions, and cannot comment on whether they will work well for you. The following systems have the capability to do Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). That’s doubly important for Medicare patients, as it will be required in Medicare starting on January 1, 2023. They are also all SureScripts certified vendors, which will give the most expansive list of pharmacies a doc can send prescriptions to.
In addition, there is at least one free option:
Burnout is extremely high among practicing physicians, with recent studies showing nearly 44% of U.S. doctors reporting one or more symptoms of burnout, depression, or both. Physicians are also at 50-300% increased risk for death by suicide compared to professionals in other fields.
To combat physician burnout, NSMS created the Together in Medicine program. The program aims to improve physician wellness by connecting physicians to their peers, building physician camaraderie, providing fun opportunities for to enjoy time with family away from the office, providing resources to strengthen resilience and leadership skills, and showing appreciation for the work physicians do.
NSMS has been working closely with both Drug Safe Solano and the Napa Opioid Safety Coalition to promote safe and appropriate prescribing practices and reduce prescription drug abuse in our communities.
Drug Safe Solano
DSS is working to reduce the number of residents who are prescribed highly addictive opioid medications and to improve medication safety and treatment strategies. According to recent research, the opioid crisis has hit Solano County particularly hard. In fact, Solano County opioid overdose hospitalization and emergency department rates exceed the state average. Because the causes and effects of prescription drug abuse are complex, a multi-disciplinary comprehensive approach is necessary to address this issue. Many organizations have partnered with the Coalition, including the Napa Solano Medical Society, leaders from our community hospitals and health plans, Solano County Public Health, Solano County Courts, law enforcement and other first responders. Visit their website for more information at www.drugsafesolano.com.
Napa Opioid Safety Coalition
The Napa Opioid Safety Coalition originally formed in 2014, under Partnership Health Plan's Managing Pain Safely program. Partners in the coalition include the Napa Solano Medical Society, Ole Health, Partnership Health Plan, Kaiser, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Veterans Home, Napa County Health and Human Services Agency, Napa Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, community pharmacists, Up Valley Family Center, and community members. For more information about the Napa Opioid Safety Coalition, please contact (707) 253-4270.
An anti-MICRA initiative has been filed for the November 2022 ballot by wealthy out-of-state trial attorneys. This initiative would substantially raise health care costs for all Californians, reduce access to health care, and exploit patients for profit.
While most reporting to date has focused on the proposed changes to California’s existing law—the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA)—this misguided initiative would effectively eliminate California's medical lawsuit limits to create new financial windfalls for California's trial lawyers.
Recent reports show that proponents of this measure had collected enough signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot, which is why we need your commitment to oppose this dangerous initiative now more than ever.
In 2014, NSMS worked with CMA to fight and handily defeat Proposition 46, clearly saying NO to changes in MICRA that would have quadrupled the cap on non-economic damages. This measure goes far beyond what Proposition 46 would have done and the cost to taxpayers would be substantially greater. As recently noted by the independent Legislative Analyst Office, the "Fairness for Injured Patients Act" will cost California taxpayers tens of millions "to high hundreds of millions of dollars annually" in health care costs.
Proposition 46 taught us the power of a strong coalition, and this time around it will be even more important. To learn more about the new initiative, and to donate to the "NO" campaign, please visit protectmicra.org.
If you have any questions about MICRA or would like to find out more about how you can get involved, contact the NSMS by emailing email@example.com.
Throughout the pandemic, NSMS has been working diligently to keep physicians as informed and prepared as possible. We distributed free, 3-month supplies of PPE to over 60 practices in the area; worked with a county public health officer to provide weekly coordination calls for physicians; identified test kits and volunteers for early testing sites; advocated for patient safety at both the county and state level; and ramped up our e-newsletter communication to a weekly schedule in order to give members the latest and most accurate information as quickly as possible.
We are still posting COVID-19 news and resources regularly. Visit our resources page for more information.