Texas Medicaid Health IT Efforts to Increase Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (ePCS)

ePCS is Legal in Texas and the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued rules in 2010 that allowed for the electronic transmission of controlled substances prescriptions that included a requirement for the certification of both the prescriber software system and pharmacy software system by an independent third party auditor. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has adopted the same requirements and updated their rules and regulations in October, 2013, to allow Schedule II controlled substances to be transmitted electronically.

While over 85% of pharmacies in Texas are capable of accepting ePCS, less than 3% of healthcare providers use ePCS.  Texas Medicaid Health IT has organized a statewide effort to raise awareness and use of ePCS in Texas. With ePCS prescribers spend less time on the phone, and improve security and confidentiality. Pharmacies decrease phone calls, eliminate verbal misinterpretations and increase prescription accuracy. Patients benefit from improved safety.

Texas Healthcare providers can learn how to start using ePCS and what electronic health record systems (EHRs) are ePCS enabled by going to www.getEPCS.com .

The following stakeholders have joined Texas Medicaid Health IT to plan and help carry out this important statewide outreach initiative:

  • Texas State Board of Pharmacy
  • Texas Pharmacy Association
  • Texas Medical Board
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Texas Hospital Association
  • Texas Dental Association
  • Texas Nurses Association
  • Texas Association of Health Plans
  • Texas Society of Heatlh-System Pharmacists
  • Alliance of Independent Pharmacists of Texas
  • Texas Pain Society
  • Office of eHealth Coordination
  • Texas eHealth Alliance
  • Southeast Texas Medical Associates
  • Surescripts
  • Pfizer
  • Texas Health Resources
  • University Medical Center of El Paso
  • DrFirst

Along with the above stakeholders, Texas Medicaid Health IT will be working with the Texas Medicaid Wellness Program, Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership, Managed Care Organizations, Your Texas Benefits, Regional Extension Centers and others to facilitate getting educational materials out to providers, pharmacies and patients.