Many Texas physicians are now unable to write prescriptions for certain pain medications because of ongoing problems when ordering the state’s new prescription forms.
As of June 1, all Schedule II prescription forms ordered before Sept. 1, 2018, were no longer valid, as state health officials transitioned to new forms and measures designed to prevent prescription fraud.
However, many Texas physicians have told the Texas Medical Association they are still awaiting the new forms, which have taken up to two months or more to be delivered.
Part of the reason for the backlog comes from the requirement that some physicians send a copy of their Texas driver’s license to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) along with the new order forms.
Although that requirement is explained on the TSBP website, it is not mentioned on the first page of the online order form. TMA has requested that TSBP make the requirement clear on the online order form.
About 600 orders are still awaiting driver’s license verification, a TSBP official told the TMA.
If you are still waiting on forms, check with your electronic health record (EHR) vendor to see if it can set you up to e-prescribe controlled substances, or EPCS. Sometimes the EPCS functionality can be set up within a day (depending on the vendor).
If you don't have an EHR vendor, search for standalone e-prescribing software, which can assist you with EPCS setup.
In addition to the new forms, all prescribers will soon be required to set up an account with Texas’ prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware.
Initially, all Texas prescribers had until Sept. 1 to set up a PMP Aware account. However, thanks to TMA advocacy, lawmakers recently passed a bill that pushed back that deadline to March 1, 2020. House Bill 3284 – by Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville) – is awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.
For more information on electronic prescribing, visit TMA’s online prescribing resource center, or contact TMA's HIT Department at (800) 880-5720 or by email.