Required Scheduled Drug E-Scripts — POMA Continues Its Work on Act 96 of 2018 Clarification

Written by Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Association Affairs, Andy Sandusky

August 8, 2019 

POMA has been in constant communication with the PA Department of Health (DOH) as it works to implement a law that goes into effect in October that will require electronic prescribing of scheduled prescriptions. The DOH is required to release regulations on how physicians can comply with the law, but because of the short time-frame, it will not be able to until after the law is already in effect.

Therefore, DOH has established an interim temporary exemption process as POMA recently reported. Since that time, POMA member questions and need for clarification have been plentiful and staff is doing its best to stay on top of the DOH’s intentions on regulating the new law.

These POMA member issues and concerns include the following:

  • I don’t have an EHR. Do I still need to file for an exception with the DOH? (Although the Act clearly states a physician in this scenario is exempt from the law, the DOH has yet to provide clear compliance guidance on whether a physician needs to complete a temporary exemption form. POMA is working hard to obtain a definitive answer from the DOH ASAP.)
  • I work in a small practice setting owned by a small hospital that does not have e-prescribing for scheduled drugs. Am I required to file an exemption?
  • Can the nurse in my office still call in scheduled scripts once the law become effective?
  • I have an EHR for scheduled prescriptions, but the pharmacies in my area are unable to accept them and require a hand-written prescription. What should I do?

POMA is expected to speak again with the DOH early next week and will report specific guidance as soon as it is obtained. If you have additional questions or scenarios not addressed above, please share them with me at [email protected].

Thanks for your continued patience as we try to obtain the correct compliance information on this act for you, your practice and your patients.