September 07, 2022
A California Medical Association (CMA) supported bill to provide exemptions to e-prescribing requirements for low volume prescribers has passed the state legislature. The bill—Assembly Bill 852—will also provide exemptions for practices affected by federal, state or local emergencies or disasters. The bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 32 to 2 and is now on Governor Newsom’s desk.
“AB 852 will give physicians more flexibility in complying with California’s prescribing mandate,” says CMA President Robert E. Wailes, M.D. “By allowing exceptions to e-prescribing requirements for health care practitioners who meet certain criteria, this bill will ensure that patients are able to get the medications they need without delay.”
Since California’s e-prescribing mandate took effect in January of this year, it has proven to be a costly burden for low volume prescribers. E-prescribing software often comes with a monthly subscription cost, and for providers who write only a handful of prescriptions a year, the software can cost upwards of $20 per prescription. This bill will align California law with federal regulations, and ease this burden at a time when physicians are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AB 852 will provide e-prescribing exemptions for providers who:
- Issue 100 prescriptions or less in a year
- Are practicing in areas affected by natural disasters, officially declared disaster or an emergency zone.
- Are granted a waiver based on other extraordinary circumstances
For more information on California’s e-prescribing mandate, see “Frequently Asked Questions: California’s Electronic Prescribing Mandate.”