Monday, March 14, 2016
Finally, know what your doctor has prescribed
Without waiting for your pharmacist to call your doctor and ask what he or she wrote. The State of New York is going full electronic on doctor prescriptions and eliminating the old pads which could be stolen and forged.
Starting on March 27, the way prescriptions are written in New York State will change. Gone will be doctors’ prescription pads and famously bad handwriting. In their place: pointing and clicking, as prescriptions are created electronically and zapped straight to pharmacies in all but the most exceptional circumstances.An easy and convenient system that now requires you be a hacker if you want a forged prescription. And after a decent interval to allow time to fill it, you can pick up your prescription at your pharmacy.
New York is the first state to require that all prescriptions be created electronically and to back up that mandate with penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for physicians who fail to comply. Minnesota has a law requiring electronic prescribing but does not penalize doctors who cling to pen and paper.
Just as doctors putting away their pads will face a culture change in New York, so, too, will patients, who will no longer be able to shop around for the shortest waiting time or the best price for their medications.
Lenox Hill was one of several New York hospitals owned by Northwell Health, formerly the North Shore-LIJ Health System, that on March 1 began to comply with the new mandate.
The shift is rooted in a 2012 state law known as I-Stop that was designed to curtail the growing problem of prescription opioid abuse. The scale of the problem is enormous. More controlled-substance prescriptions were written in the state from 2013 to 2014 (about 27 million) than there were residents (about 20 million), according to the State Health Department. In 2004, there were 341 opioid-related deaths in the state. In 2013, there were 1,227.
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