January 14, 2015

The Medical Society of the State of New York is urging that New York State delay implementation of the E-prescribing requirement for all substances due to the fact that several EHR systems currently used by physicians and hospitals have not yet been certified by the DEA to enable electronic prescribing of controlled substances. As such, MSSNY has argued that it is unfair to hold physicians responsible for the failure of vendors to meet this deadline. MSSNY leadership and staff have had discussions with the administration and some members of the Legislature to request this delay. MSSNY is urging physicians to assist in this effort by sending a letter calling for delay of the implementation date. Physicians can send a letter to their legislators and Governor Cuomo urging a postponement of this mandate.

The E-prescribing requirement goes into effect for non-controlled and controlled substances on March 27, 2015. This requirement was part of the I-STOP law that was approved unanimously by the Legislature. MSSNY has had numerous discussions with state officials and key legislative leaders to make them fully aware of the significant obstacles many physicians of all practice configurations will face in complying with this law, and the potential medication disruptions patients could face as a result. MSSNY, along with various medical specialties, will be sending a letter to Acting Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD also asking for delay. MSSNY has also had extensive discussions with the state to assure that the process for physicians to apply for a waiver of this requirement will not be unduly burdensome. The law provides that physicians may apply for a waiver of this e-prescribing requirement as a result of a) economic hardship b) technological limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the physician, or c) other exceptional circumstance. MSSNY is encouraging that DOH consider including as an example of an acceptable exigent circumstance which qualifies for a waiver those instances where the physician prescribes less than 25 prescriptions per year.