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Florida Electronic Prescription Mandate

Florida Electronic Prescription MandateBy: Michael Silverman

Attention Florida prescribers and dispensers – did you know that a new law mandating electronic prescribing goes into effect on January 1, 2020?

More specifically, Florida House Bill 831, which was signed by Governor DeSantis in June 2019, requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically upon licensure renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier, unless an exemption applies.

If a practitioner is licensed to prescribe a medicinal drug, and such practitioner either (i) maintains a system of electronic health records; or (ii) is an owner, employee or contractor of a licensed healthcare facility or practice that maintains a system of electronic health records and are prescribing in their capacity as an owner, employee or contractor of the licensed healthcare facility; then they must electronically transmit their prescriptions

Essentially, as of January 1, 2020, practitioners must transmit all prescriptions electronically upon the earlier of license renewal or by July 1, 2021, unless:

  • The practitioner and the dispenser are the same entity;
  • The prescription cannot be transmitted electronically under the most recently implemented version of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard;
  • The practitioner has been issued a waiver by the department, not to exceed 1 year, due to demonstrated economic hardship, technology limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the practitioner, or another exceptional circumstance demonstrated by the practitioners;
  • The practitioner reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient in question to obtain a medicinal drug prescribed by electronic prescription in a timely manner and such delay would adversely impact the patient’s medical condition;
  • The practitioner is prescribing a drug under a research protocol;
  • The prescription is for a drug for which the federal Food and Drug Administration requires the prescription to contain elements that may not be included in electronic prescribing;
  • The prescription is issued to an individual receiving hospice care or who is a resident of a nursing home facility; or
  • The practitioner determines that it is in the best interest of the patient, or the patient determines that it is in his or her own best interest to compare prescription drug prices among area pharmacies. The practitioner must document such determination in the patient’s medical record.

Florida practitioners and dispensers need to ensure they comply with these new electronic prescribing mandates, and should additionally keep in mind that this Florida law is separate and apart from the Federal SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which requires that all prescriptions for controlled substances written for Medicare Part D beneficiaries are transmitted in an electronic format by January 1, 2021, unless an exemption applies.