Several, if not all, of the APA’s recommendations have been incorporated into a newly released final rule on Medicare’s electronic prescribing (eRx) standards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended to November 1 the deadline by which physicians must either comply with the regulations or request a hardship exemption to avoid incurring a 1 percent payment reduction in 2012.
CMS added several new exemption categories, including one for physicians who register to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and adopt certified EHR technology. Another new exemption, for which APA made a concerted lobbying effort, applies to physicians who reside in states with regulations that currently limit electronic prescribing. This exemption is key for physicians practicing in such states as New York and Ohio, where current regulations prohibit electronic prescribing of controlled substances.
Read more about CMS’s eRx prescribing standards in Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/16/6.2.full and http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/15/16.3.full.