Assembly Panel Approves Conaway Bill Encouraging Use of Electronic Systems to Transmit Prescriptions to Prevent Abuse of Controlled Dangerous Substances

An Assembly panel on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. to ensure that electronic systems used by health care providers to transmit prescriptions for certain controlled dangerous substances meet the requirements outlined by the federal government.

“The opioid abuse crisis is well-documented,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “Part of that abuse springs from an individual’s ability to manipulate the system. By encouraging the increased use of electronic prescribing we can help reduce the potential for fraud, diversion, and abuse of prescription medications.”

The bill (A-3831) would require each owner or administrator of an electronic health records system that is used to transmit electronic prescriptions in New Jersey to ensure that the system meets the federal requirements to accept, process, and transmit prescriptions for Schedule II controlled dangerous substances.

Entities operating or administering a system on the effective date of the bill will have one year to meet this requirement as a condition of continuing to transmit electronic prescriptions in the state. Entities commencing operation or administration of an electronic health records system that is used to transmit electronic prescriptions in New Jersey after the effective date of the bill will be required to meet the requirement as a condition of electronically transmitting prescriptions in the state.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee chaired by Conaway.