CMA Bill to Offer More eRx Flexibility to Low-Volume Prescribers Passes State Legislature

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September 07, 2022

A California Medical Association (CMA)-sponsored bill to provide exemptions to e-prescribing requirements for low-volume prescribers has passed the state legislature. The bill – Assembly Bill 852 – will also provide exemptions for practices affected by federal, state or local emergencies or disasters. The bill passed the state Senate by a 32-2 vote and now sits on Governor Newsom’s desk.

“AB 852 will give physicians more flexibility to comply with California’s prescribing mandate,” says CMA President Robert E. Wailes, MD “By allowing exceptions to electronic prescribing requirements for who meet certain criteria, this bill will ensure that patients are able to get the drugs they need without delay.

Since California’s e-prescribing mandate went into effect in January of this year, it has proven to be a costly burden on low-volume prescribers. E-prescribing software often comes with a monthly subscription fee, and for providers who only write a handful of prescriptions per year, the software can cost up to $20 per prescription. This bill will align California law with federal regulations and ease that burden at a time when physicians are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

  • Issue 100 or fewer prescriptions per year
  • Practice in areas affected by natural disasters, officially declared disaster or emergency area.
  • Benefit from a waiver based on other extraordinary circumstances

For more information on the California e-prescription mandate, see “Frequently Asked Questions: California e-Prescription Mandate”.

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