OptumRx announced this week (PDF) that it will offer a grace period for its electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) requirement that all home-delivery prescriptions for controlled substances be electronically prescribed.

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In its bulletin, OptumRx said that it will continue to fill hard copy, faxed or phone-in prescriptions for home-delivery controlled substances until Feb. 29. Beginning March 1, OptumRx said it will no longer fill home-delivery prescriptions received by hard copy, fax or phone for controlled substances.

The AMA continues to oppose the policy (PDF), which may supersede or conflict with state laws as well as cause significant disruption to patient care. OptumRx said that its EPCS requirement has several exceptions, including that it does not apply to prescribers who are exempt from state EPCS requirements, or for OptumRx members in Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. OptumRx said that physicians who have questions about the policy should send an email to [email protected].

Physicians who experience problems also are encouraged to send a description of the problem to the AMA Advocacy Resource Center at [email protected]

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