Since California’s electronic prescribing mandate went into effect on January 1, 2022, many low-volume prescribers have found that securing a standalone e-prescribe platform or adding on e-prescribe as an electronic health record (EHR) feature has been costly, due to its monthly subscription costs and set-up fees. And those practices still recovering from COVID-19-related losses are being hit hardest.
The California Medical Association (CMA) recognized this burden on physicians and sponsored Assembly Bill 852, which provides exemptions for low-volume prescribers. The bill was recently signed by Governor Newsom.
AB 852 provides exemptions for providers who meet the following criteria:
Issue 100 prescriptions or less in a year
Are practicing in an area affected by natural disaster, officially declared disaster, or emergency zone
Are granted a waiver based on other extraordinary circumstances1
If a physician qualifies for at least one of the above exemptions, they must register with the Board of Pharmacy; however, a formalized process has not yet been established, as of the writing of this article.
The implementation of AB 852 will allow providers the flexibility to comply with the e-prescribing mandate and reduce costs for low-volume providers.
For questions regarding the e-prescribe mandate, please see CA.GOV’s Frequently Asked Questions at https://pharmacy.ca.gov/licensees/erx-faqs.shtml.
Andie Tena is CAP’s Director of Practice Management Services. Questions or comments related to this column should be directed to ATena@CAPphysicians.com.