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Emdeon Announces Support for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances Using the DEA-Allowed Quicker-to-Market Approach
Date:8/15/2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Emdeon Inc. (NYSE: EM), a leading provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, today announced its support for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) quicker-to-market option for electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS).

On June 1, 2010, prescribers became legally allowed to electronically transmit controlled substance prescriptions to the pharmacy of a patient's choice, and pharmacies were allowed to electronically receive these prescriptions so long as certain required security measures were in place. Over a year after the DEA Interim Final Rule (IFR) enabling EPCS became effective, the healthcare industry still has not completed implementation of the electronic prescribing software systems necessary to transmit controlled substance prescriptions pursuant to the IFR. Emdeon believes many of the challenges faced by prescribers and pharmacies may be addressed expeditiously through an option that is currently offered within the IFR.

The DEA gave two options in the IFR to allow for EPCS between prescribers and pharmacies. One option, which has been referred to in the industry as "Option 1," entails end-to-end public key infrastructure where the prescription is digitally signed with the prescriber's digital certificate and that signature is verified by the pharmacy using the prescriber's public key. Option 1 requires a coordination of effort between prescriber and pharmacy to capture, transmit, receive, validate and store the digital signature assigned to each prescription. Because the technology requirements related to Option 1 are complex and standards continue to be developed, the required software upgrades may be delayed behind other regulatory compliance initiatives for many pharmacies.

The other DEA-allowable option, which has
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SOURCE Emdeon Inc.
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