State and Federal EPCS Mandates and Deadlines

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The world of e-prescribing in the United States will undergo a major shift in 2021. As part of attempts to halt the opioid crisis, state and federal governments have introduced new Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandates. EHRs, EMRs, and e-prescribing software vendors must comply with these new EPCS mandates by 2021. Here’s a full guide to what’s coming down the pipeline:

Federal EPCS Deadline

On January 1, 2021, the United States will mandate that providers use e-prescribing software when prescribing controlled substances with opioids under a Medicare Part D plan. This is part of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was signed into law in October 2018.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is considering a delay, but as of now, there are no official orders to do so.

State EPCS Deadlines

Many states have already enacted e-prescribing mandates. Minnesota was the first state to enact a mandate in 2011, and New York was the first to institute a mandate with penalties in 2016. Others have followed suit since. Please reference your local rules to determine any penalties or fines that stem from non-compliance.

List of States with EPCS Laws Already Enacted

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia

List of States with EPCS Laws Starting on January 1, 2021

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wyoming

List of States with EPCS Mandates Starting on Other Dates in 2021

  • Colorado — July 1, 2021 for podiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and optometrists; July 1, 2023 for dentists and rural practitioners
  • Florida — last deadline for EPCS mandate is July 1, 2021
  • Kansas — July 1, 2021
  • Washington — September 30, 2021

List of States with EPCS Mandates Starting on January 1, 2022

  • California
  • Maryland
  • Utah
  • List of States With Pending Legislation
  • New Hampshire — If the law passes, effective date would be 60 days after enactment
  • Nebraska — If the law passes, effective date would be January 1, 2021
  • New Jersey — If the law passes, effective date would be one year after enactment
  • West Virginia — The effective date if the law passes is not yet known.

States with no EPCS Mandate at Present

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

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