FARMINGTON, Conn., Jan. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, announced its approval by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a certifier of electronic prescription of controlled substances applications. On December 3, 2014, the DEA approved EHNAC's certification process.
As set forth in DEA regulations, before any electronic prescription or pharmacy application may be used to transmit or receive prescriptions, a third party must audit the application for compliance with the requirements of 21 CFR part 1311, or a certifying organization whose certification process has been approved by DEA, such as EHNAC, must verify and certify that the application meets the requirements.
EHNAC offers two certification programs for vendors handling e-prescribing of controlled substances – EPCSCP-Pharmacy and EPCSCP-Prescription. The two certification programs evaluate pharmacy and prescribing companies that offer applications supporting electronic prescription of controlled substances. Launched in September 2012, these programs are designed to demonstrate that vendors and their applications meet detailed DEA regulations as well as EHNAC core criteria addressing privacy, confidentiality, technical performance, business practices, resources and security.
"Receiving the DEA's approval for our certification process of electronic prescription of controlled substances is a tremendous milestone in our efforts to create a higher standard of privacy and security and to assure stakeholder trust within healthcare data exchange," said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. "Our EPCSCP accreditations support the overall goal of a closed system that reduces fraud for controlled substances, including the lost, misplaced, altered or forged prescription issues that have plagued healthcare in recent years. Ultimately, we hope this encourages more eprescribing entities to become certified, and more prescribers, patients and insurers to reap the efficiency benefits of electronic prescribing."
Prior to EHNAC finalizing its approval as a certifier by the DEA, the EPCS programs were administered exclusively by Certified Information System Auditors (CISAs) to meet requirements of the DEA EPCS regulation. This process will now be streamlined and handled exclusively by EHNAC for new accreditation candidates.
EHNAC-accredited organizations and commission members Surescripts and Emdeon weighed in on the accomplishment:
"There is no question that secure, electronic prescribing benefits patients, prescribers and pharmacies, especially when it comes to prescribing controlled substances," said Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and privacy officer of Surescripts. "Surescripts has worked collaboratively with EHNAC and others across the industry to make e-prescribing a reality, and we're committed to doing the same with EPCS today."
Kevin Mahoney, executive vice president of Emdeon added: "This recognition by the DEA is an important step forward for the healthcare industry given EHNAC's position as a well-established standards development organization for accrediting a wide variety of entities who electronically exchange healthcare data. Emdeon is pleased to have had the opportunity to support EHNAC through this process."
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, eprescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators.
EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.