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e-Prescribing (eRx) signature requirements

Electronic prescribing is the transmission of prescription or prescription-related information through electronic media. Health care professionals can electronically transmit new prescriptions as well as responses to renewal requests directly to a pharmacy through a qualified eRx system, which eliminates the necessity for writing or faxing prescriptions for non-controlled substances.

Note: CMS defines a “qualified eRx system” as one that meets the Medicare Part D requirements described in Standards for Electronic Prescribing (42 CFR 423.160 external pdf file).

• e-Prescribing for Part B drugs: Non-controlled substances — if a provider submits an order for a non-controlled substance through a qualified eRx system, the provider is not required to produce a signed hardcopy as evidence to substantiate the drug order.

• e-Prescribing for Part B drugs: Controlled substances — the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does not permit the prescribing of controlled substances through e-Prescribing systems; therefore, only a signed (pen and ink) hardcopy of the prescription will be accepted as evidence to substantiate a drug order for controlled substances.

Also see Signature requirements for medical documentation

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