Along with the myriad federal regulations that require compliance from providers, states have their own individual laws as well. One such law that is all set to go into effect in March of next year is the I-Stop or Internet System for Tracking Overprescribing in New York. The regulation makes it mandatory for providers and pharmacies to use electronic prescribing specifically to control prescription drug abuse.
An official press release has stated that more than 66,000 providers have started using the system to check over 7 million prescriptions since the program was begun (New York Press Release, February 2014). The benefits of this particular law are many. Even at this early stage, the system has reduced incidence of “doctor shopping”. Individuals who are addicted to controlled substances often visit multiple providers in order to obtain numerous prescriptions. With the electronic checking in place, it becomes more difficult for such patients to “doctor shop”.
Since providers have to prescribe drugs through electronic means and pharmacists have to check with the database before filling prescriptions, it also becomes easy to detect and curb insurance fraud. Since the quantities of drugs prescribed and used is tracked digitally, the program has also been used to identify and properly dispose of unwanted and expired drugs. In the future, state officials may also use the system to identify unscrupulous providers or pharmacists who engage in prescription drug fraud.
This is not to say that providers who transition to e-prescribing have nothing to gain from the new regulation. Electronic prescriptions are less costly than their paper counterparts and easier to track. Unlike regular prescriptions, electronic ones cannot be lost, torn or misplaced. Additionally, patients can quickly get their medication without having to wait hours for the provider to write one or for the pharmacy to fill it. Some patients can be careless about refilling their prescriptions regularly, e-prescriptions can help to reduce such forgetfulness.
Apart from this, I-Stop gives some protection for providers against over prescribing. Since providers have to check the database before writing a prescription, they are able to see if the particular patient has availed the same drug before and under what circumstances. This enables them to determine if the patient is addicted to the substance or if there is some other fraud/scam going on.
Dovetail dental software offers e-prescribing as a part of our comprehensive medical software suite. You no longer have to worry about writing or tracking prescriptions among patients for complying with local/federal laws. ALL New York practitioners are required to comply with the
i-Stop law by March 27th, 2014 and begin electronically sending all prescriptions. Are you ready? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.