CMA bill to provide more eRx flexibility for low volume prescribers signed into law

October 03, 2022

Assembly Bill 852 sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) to exempt low volume prescribers from California’s e-prescribing requirements has been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

AB 852 will provide e-prescribing exemptions for providers who:

  • 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 circumstances

Physicians who fall under one of these exemptions will need to register with the Board of Pharmacy, under a process that is not yet determined. CMA will make information about that process available as soon as possible.

Since California’s e-prescribing mandate originally took effect in January of this year, it has proven to be a costly burden for low volume prescribers, many of whom are retired or semi-retired physicians who maintain a license. 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 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.”

For more information on California’s e-prescribing mandate, see “Frequently Asked Questions: California’s Electronic Prescribing Mandate."


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