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Waiver Process for Electronic Controlled Substance Prescriptions – Nursing Facilities Included in Waiver - IHCA

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Waiver Process for Electronic Controlled Substance Prescriptions – Nursing Facilities Included in Waiver

Posted Dec 29, 20202 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical
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Per Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 176, physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, dentists, optometrists, and podiatrists (collectively termed “prescribers”) are required to issue controlled substances prescriptions in an electronic format and by electronic transmission starting January 1, 2021.  For IHCA/INCAL’s full summary on SEA 176, please click here.

On December 23, 2020, the Indiana Board of Pharmacy issued an Emergency Rule creating a process and outlining the reasons a prescriber may apply for a waiver and not be required to issue a controlled substance prescription electronically.  The entirety of the Emergency Rule can be found here and goes in effect on January 1, 2021.  The Emergency Rule will remain in effect until July 1, 2023, or until a permanent administrative rule is enacted in its place.

Under the Emergency Rule, prescribers may apply to the Indiana Board of Pharmacy for a waiver from the requirement to issue controlled substance prescriptions electronically if the prescription issued by the prescriber is for an individual who is a resident of a nursing facility.  Any waiver that is issued will expire on the date the prescriber’s controlled substance registration expires.  To apply for a waiver under the Emergency Rule, please visit the Indiana Board of Pharmacy’s website here.

IHCA/INCAL has requested the Indiana Board of Pharmacy also include residents of residential care facilities and will update you if the Emergency Rule is updated.

A prescriber who has obtained or applied for a waiver is required to indicate on the written or oral prescription:

  • The waiver number or indicate an application for a waiver has been submitted; and
  • The prescriber’s controlled substance registration number and Drug Enforcement Administration number.
  • A prescriber is not required to provide the circumstances for the waiver on the written or oral prescription.

SEA 176 also outlines several exceptions for when a prescriber may still issue a prescription for a controlled substance in a written format, a faxed format, or an oral order, which includes receiving a waiver from the Indiana Board of Pharmacy (for the full list of exceptions, please click here).

We encourage you to start working with your pharmacy partners as soon as possible to see if/what changes need to be made to your current process to accommodate for electronic controlled substance prescriptions if you have not done so already.  If you have any questions, please email Laura Brown at Lbrown@ihca.org.