The AHA Tuesday responded to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services request for information regarding whether the agency should include exceptions to the electronic prescribing of controlled substances requirements in the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act.

The comments also respond to CMS’ question of whether it should impose penalties for noncompliance.

“While we do not oppose the general requirement for prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances to be transmitted electronically, we are concerned with the timeline proposed for implementation as well as the potential for penalties for noncompliance within this timeline,” the AHA said. It urged CMS to approach the requirement “based on a holistic view of the full range of federal regulations that require hospital IT development, upgrade, testing and end-user training, and proceed with a period of enforcement discretion and lack of penalties.”

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