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NY lawmakers postpone mandate for electronic prescriptions


New York lawmakers have delayed a deadline that would require prescription medications to be electronic. Many doctors in the state needed more time to put the necessary technology in place. 

Many prescribers in New York already submit scripts electronically, but federal requirements mandate a higher level of security for electronically prescribed controlled substances to prevent fraud.

Lisa Nelson, a pharmacist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told WXXI — especially for private practitioners — meeting the federal Drug Enforcement Administration electronic standards is a challenge.

“It’s not just flipping a switch. It’s actually setting up separate servers, there’s something called two factor authentications,” said Nelson who reports URMC is ready to begin moving electronically now.

She explained the mandate is one that doctors deem necessary, although logistically challenging. “I think most people most providers agree that electronic prescribing definitely has its advantages it definitely decreases the handwriting errors that we were seeing and it also does help with the fraudulent prescription issues.”

The law has been postponed to March 27, 2016.  

Michelle Faust, MA, is a reporter/ producer whose work focuses strongly on issues related to health and health policy. She joined the WXXI newsroom in February 2014, and in short time became the lead producer on the Understanding the Affordable Care Act series. Michelle is a reporter with the health collaborative Side Effects and regularly contributes to The Innovation Trail. Working across media, she also produces packages for WXXI-TV’s weekly news magazine Need to Know.
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