A coalition of southeastern Michigan-based employers and health insurers is offering pharmacists and doctors free webinars on electronic prescribing of controlled substances.


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Webinars explain e-prescribing of controlled substances

November 12th, 2012

DETROIT – A coalition of southeastern Michigan-based employers and health insurers is offering pharmacists and doctors free webinars on electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

The Southeastern Michigan ePrescribing Initiative (SEMI) said Monday that this month and in December it's hosting four free webinars for pharmacies and five for physicians that explained the steps required to e-prescribe controlled substances.

Some of the webinars will feature live software demonstrations from vendors such as DrFirst and Allscripts. Recordings of the webinars also will be available if those interested aren't able to tune in to the live event.

SEMI's participants include CVS Caremark Corp., Express Scripts Inc., General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, Henry Ford Medical Group and Catamaran Corp.

The webinars are designed to help providers and pharmacists understand the Drug Enforcement Administration's ruling and safeguards; the benefits of e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS); physician, pharmacist and e-prescribing vendor responsibilities; and how to get started with EPCS.

According to e-script network Surescripts, more than 100 prescribers are now capable of prescribing controlled substances in Michigan, and more than 500 pharmacies can receive and dispense controlled substances electronically. Michigan allows e-prescribing of schedules II-V controlled substances.

"While Michigan is among the nation's leaders in e-prescribing, we understand that many practices are struggling to implement electronic prescribing for controlled substances, and we feel it is important for patient safety and practice efficiency to fill this education gap," stated Kathleen Neal, director of integrated health care and disability for Chrysler Group. "Because of the sensitivities associated with these important medications, the steps necessary to prescribe for controlled medications are different than for more common prescriptions, even though they're using the same ePrescribing software."

In July, Michigan was recognized by Surescripts as one of the nation's leaders in e-prescribing with its Safe-Rx Awards. Michigan is one of just three states to finish in the Safe-Rx Award top 10 every year since Surescripts started publishing the data in 2006.

SEMI has been actively promoting e-prescribing among doctors in southeastern Michigan since 2005. Over 8,200 physicians are actively prescribing in the program, up 33% from 2011, and have submitted more than 50 million e-prescriptions since the program began. SEMI provides doctors with training and a support system to help integrate e-prescribing into their practice, two obstacles that the coalition said are routinely cited by doctors who choose paper prescriptions over e-scripts.

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