UnitedHealthcare to Require E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances Sent Via Home Delivery

Last Updated: Aug 6, 2019

EHR-eprescribingEffective Jan. 1, 2020, UnitedHealthcare’s pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx will require e-prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances that are filled by home delivery pharmacy service.

The OptumRx policy applies only to home delivery pharmacy service
and not to other types of prescription service such as in-store pickup. OptumRx says it is taking this step to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction.

A two-step authentication and other security measures are required for the e-prescribing of controlled substances. UnitedHealthcare recommends that physicians and practices make sure that your electronic medical record system is set up for e-prescriptions.

OptumRx offers several e-prescribing resources online at professionals.optumrx.com/epcs:

  • E-prescribing video
  • Resources on getting started with e-prescribing for both small practices and health systems
  • EMR certification guide

Pennsylvania’s E-Prescribing Law

A new Pennsylvania law – Act 96 of 2018 – on controlled substances e-prescribing will take effect on Oct. 24, 2019. The law requires e-prescribing of all Schedule II through V controlled substances, except when dispensed or administered directly to a patient by a practitioner or authorized agent, other than a pharmacist, to an ultimate user.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) offers FAQs to help practices prepare for this new requirement. Learn more about the law, including exceptions, and get PAMED’s e-prescribing resources here.

PAMED members with questions can also contact our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348) or KnowledgeCenter@pamedsoc.org

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