Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) with $150,000 available has issued an RFP to develop a “Pilot for the Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances”. Electronic prescribing has the ability to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery but despite this potential; California is consistently near the bottom in Surescripts’ annual SafeRx rankings that measure how states adopt and use e-prescribing.

One of the barriers to widespread adoption of eRx has been the prohibition until recently of the Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) which accounts for about 11 percent of the prescriptions written annually.

In June 2010, DEA issued an Interim Final Rule permitting EPCS but subject to stringent security and audit requirements which means that pharmacies, pharmacy communication networks such as Surescripts, and health IT vendors must comply.

The purpose of this project is to pilot EPCS in up to three ambulatory provider organizations (medical groups, community clinics, etc.) to better understand the issues and challenges dealing with implementing federal regulations affecting physicians, community pharmacies and health information networks to send prescription-related information. The goal is to identify the implementation challenges and share the lessons learned broadly in California and nationally to facilitate the widespread adoption of EPCS.

To be eligible, the applicant must be an ambulatory provider organization in California, using e-prescribing for non-controlled substances for at least six months, met the Stage 1 MU requirements for e-prescribing, and use eRX/EHR software certified for EPCS or software that will be certified by the fourth quarter of 2012.

To see the proposal online, go to www.chcf.org/rfps/2012/epcs-pilot. It is anticipated that the individual grants will be for $50,000.

A webinar will be held September 6, 2012 to discuss the RFP. Questions are due September 12, 2012, with proposals due on September 28, 2012.

Questions about this RFP should be directed to Ronald Wacker, EPCS Project Manager at ronwacker@yahoo.com with the subject line “Questions re:EPCS RFP”. Questions received after the September 6th webinar will be answered and posted online, along with the complete RFP at www.chcf.org/epcs.