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Electronic Prescriptions Take Affect January 1, 2020

December 19, 2019

Beginning January 1, 2020, all prescriptions, including controlled substances, will be electronically prescribed by prescribers and electronically received by pharmacies.  Electronic prescribing is the transmission of a prescription to a pharmacy via a secure electronic portal.  This bill was passed by the Iowa House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Reynolds in 2018 with mandatory implementation by January 1, 2020.  Penalties will be enforced for providers not following this method of prescribing.  
 
If you are friends with your healthcare provider outside of the clinic setting, requests for medical advice, treatment or a prescription can be problematic, if they are not addressed appropriately.  Often times, the request for medical advice is considered “curbside consultation” in which an individual stops the provider in the public to seek medical advice.  The basic rule is providers cannot treat or provide care outside of the patient relationship.  If an individual has care needs, they must make an appointment for an office visit.  This provides a record of what was done for future reference, as well as protects the patient should they need to be referred to another provider or if something unexpected occurs.  The provider is required to complete all required documentation just like everyone else. 
 
Individuals asking providers for a “curbside consultation” are also placing the provider in a difficult position.  Providing advice or ordering services such as prescriptions without a thorough exam, could inadvertently result in incorrect treatment or misdiagnosis.  Without a formal patient/provider relationship and documentation, the provider’s insurance will not cover any errors that may result.
 
If you have a healthcare concern or need a prescription, it is important you make an appointment to your primary care provider for an office visit.  For more information about the new electronic prescribing and/or any additional questions you might have, log on to:  https://pharmacy.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019/09/faq_e-rx_dr.pdf

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