State EPCS Legislation

New York and Maine lead the way

In 2013, New York State finalized the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act, a landmark law designed to overhaul the way prescription drugs are distributed and tracked. Among other requirements, this groundbreaking legislation mandates that all medications—including highly addictive narcotics and other controlled substances—prescribed in New York State must be prescribed electronically.

While most states allow EPCS, New York was the first state to require EPCS, and has served as a bellwether for other states. Most recently, Maine introduced a new law, LD 1646, “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program.” Among other opioid safety measures, the bill requires all prescriptions for opioid medications to be sent electronically from July 1, 2017. 

Maine and New York State’s EPCS and opioid prescription laws are prompting more states to investigate their PMP and EPCS legislation, which is likely to result in more new EPCS-related state legislation measures in the near future. New York and Maine have set a precedent for EPCS because electronic prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances as classified by the DEA delivers a number of benefits for patients and care providers, including:

  • Reducing “doctor shopping” and minimizing the risk of altered, stolen or fraudulent prescriptions 

  • Eliminating dual prescribing workflows to improve provider efficiency and satisfaction 

  • Increasing e-prescribing rates to meet Meeting Meaningful Use requirements
  • Minimizing prescription errors and inaccuracies 

  • Improving patient satisfaction by eliminating repeated doctor visits and long pharmacy wait times 
Electronic prescribing is commonplace in Maine, with about 70 percent of all prescriptions sent electronically in 20143. However, opioid-based medications are classified by the DEA as controlled substances, and are therefore subject to different regulations and requirements for e-prescribing. 


E-Prescribing & the I-STOP Act


The E-prescribing component of the I-STOP Act went into effect on March 27, 2016, and to comply with the requirements, healthcare providers and organizations in the state of New York must:

  • Ensure the EPCS solution meets all of the federal requirements outlined in the DEA’s interim final rule pertaining to EPCS
  • The practitioner has successfully completed the identity proofing process as defined in the federal requirements
  • The practitioner has obtained a two-factor authentication authorized for EPCS under the requirements put forth in the DEA ruling
  • The practitioner has registered their DEA-certified EPCS solution with the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE).


Enabling EPCS securely with Imprivata Confirm ID™


Imprivata Confirm ID is the fast, secure signing solution for EPCS. It is the most comprehensive platform for provider identity proofing, supervised enrollment of credentials, two factor authentication, and auditing and reporting to help healthcare organizations meet the DEA requirements for EPCS. Imprivata Confirm ID integrates with leading EMRs and e-prescribing applications, and it supports the most complete set of two-factor authentication modalities, including Hands Free Authentication, to make EPCS as fast and convenient as possible for care providers.

We also encourage you to visit the EPCS Insights blog for the latest opinions, advice and best practices for EPCS success from various industry experts.