WCMS supports the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP)Act, with important modifications

March 23, 2017

3/20/17 WCMS supports NC STOP Act, but with important modifications:
WCMS supports the  Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act, with important modifications, such as (but not limited to):

1. The scheduled drugs included in the bill (Schedule II – Schedule V) are too broad. The drugs fueling the opioid crisis are mainly Schedule II-III drugs. Providers should not be required to check the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS) for all scheduled drugs.  This pre-check will be an administrative burden with no benefit. For example, Commonly prescribed Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs, such as Lyrica, Lomotil, and Ambien, do not need to be included. WCMS recommends limiting the mandate for a CSRS check to Schedule II and III drugs only.
2. Funding is needed to  improve the efficiency and interoperability of the CSRS.  The CSRS as it stands is usable but burdensome. It requires logging into an entirely different system that doesn’t interface with the practice’s EHR. According to the bill, prescribers will be paying an annual $20 fee for use and 90% of those funds will go to CSRS. However it is unclear if those funds will be earmarked for improvements in usability and interfacing with EHRs and the NCHIE. WCMS recommends that if physicians and other prescribers are going to be required to use and pay for the CSRS, there should be clear assurance in the law that the funds will go to improvements as mentioned above.

3. A mandate on electronic prescribing of controlled substances will place a large financial burden on physicians exacted by the electronic health record companies. EHR companies will charge physicians for this additional function. This will be an ongoing cost and will affect all practices, particularly hitting hard rural practices, small independent practices and community health centers, who already barely get by with a thin bottom line. We understand that electronic prescribing may help decrease fraudulent prescribing, but we recommend that it not be mandated until there are solutions to defray costs.

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