January 05, 2023
Area(s) of Interest: Health Information Technology
Low volume prescribers and health care practitioners that meet certain criteria can now request an exemption from California’s e-prescribing mandate, under a new law (AB 852) strongly supported by the California Medical Association (CMA).
Under the new law, physicians are exempt from the e-prescribing mandate if they meet one of 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 circumstances
To claim the exemption, physicians must register with the California Board of Pharmacy using this online form. The form will allow pharmacists to confirm that a physician is exempt from the requirement.
Since California’s e-prescribing mandate originally took effect in January 2022, 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 aligns California law with federal regulations and will ease this burden at a time when physicians are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on California’s e-prescribing mandate, see CMA’s “Frequently Asked Questions: California’s Electronic Prescribing Mandate."