- Q: How do I enable my pharmacy for e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
- Q: Is electronic prior authorization of e-prescriptions available?
- Q: How do I know if my software is certified, and what does that mean?
- Q: What is considered a “billable transaction”?
- Q: How do I update my pharmacy name, address, phone or fax number in your system?
- Q: A local physician practice that I do a lot of business with is implementing an EMR system. How do I know if it is capable of sending me e-prescriptions via the Surescripts network?
- Q: What advantages does e-prescribing via the Surescripts network offer my pharmacy?
- Q: I’m already receiving prescriptions as faxes. How is this different than e-prescribing?
- Q: How can I let physicians in my area know that I accept e-prescriptions via the Surescripts network?
- Q: How many pharmacies are e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
- Q: What does Surescripts charge for e-prescribing?
- Q: Why isn’t my pharmacy listed as e-prescribing enabled on your site?
- Q: An e-prescribing physician asked me for my EDI number. What does that mean?
- Q: I work for a chain pharmacy. How do I make sure prescription renewal requests are being sent electronically from our computer system to all connected prescribers in our area?
- Q: Can compounding pharmacies, LTC pharmacies, and DME companies become enabled for e-prescribing?
- Q: How many prescribers are e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
- Q: Why should our pharmacy participate in Surescripts’ Medication History service?
- Q: How can Surescripts’ Personal Health Record (PHR) service benefit our pharmacy?
- Q: What specific transactions can I conduct electronically via the Surescripts network using my pharmacy computer?
- Q: What is the status of electronic prescribing for controlled substances?
- Q: Who should I contact for technical support related to e-prescribing?
- Q: How do I request a refund for duplicate e-prescriptions?
- Q: A local prescriber is stating they cannot find my pharmacy in their EHR system. What is causing this and how do I resolve it?
- Q: When I attempt to transmit a renewal request to a prescriber I receive the error message: “Receiving partner does not support this message type.”
- Q: When I send a renewal request to a prescriber they are denying it and sending it again as a new prescription “Denied, New to Follow”. Does this cause me to be billed twice and how do I prevent this from happening?
- Q: What do I do if I receive poor quality or miswritten electronic prescription?
- Q: Can I send a message via the Surescripts network to the prescriber requesting authorization to make a change in the patient’s prescription or therapy?
- Q: Is there any notification that the prescriber can send if they want to cancel a patient’s therapy or e-prescription?
- Q: What is Surescripts doing to improve the quality of e-prescriptions?
How do I enable my pharmacy for e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
If your pharmacy management system is certified to
connect to the Surescripts network, you simply contact your
pharmacy software vendor, ask them to enable your e-prescribing
functionality, and specify that you want to be connected to the
Pharmacies should ask their vendor:
- If any patches or upgrades to their system are required.
- If any amendments to their contract are needed to cover transaction fees
- What training is provided to get accustomed to the new or upgraded system
Click here to see if your pharmacy software system has been certified by Surescripts.
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Is electronic prior authorization of e-prescriptions available?
Surescripts has developed and tested the first and only end-to-end electronic prior authorization solution (ePA) integrated into the EHR software and PBM e-prescribing workflow for real-time processing. Based on the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standard for ePA, Surescripts offers CompletePA™ for EHRs and PBMs to implement and offer to their customers. This means improved efficiency and "clean prescriptions" for pharmacies and patients. Learn more about CompletePA.back to top
How do I know if my software is certified, and what does that mean?
Surescripts does not develop, sell or endorse e-prescribing software but instead works with existing vendors to certify their technologies to connect to the Surescripts network. This process ensures that electronic prescribing solutions are able to send and receive supported electronic messages and that the solution is providing open choice for medication selection and dispensing location. Additionally, the process ensures that the technology systems work in accordance with industry-accepted standards for the electronic exchange of prescription data between physicians and pharmacies. A complete list of certified pharmacy software systems can be found at the following link. If your pharmacy software is on this list and you are not yet enabled for e-prescribing, contact your vendor to request the e-prescribing functionality.
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What is considered a “billable transaction”?
Surescripts charges a transaction fee to pharmacy vendors. In
all cases, your pharmacy management system vendor determines what
it charges your pharmacy.
Surescripts does not set the price or billing structure charged by the vendor to their pharmacy customers. Surescripts charges vendors for the following transactions: new
prescriptions, renewal responses, and two optional transactions-change requests and cancel transaction.
How do I update my pharmacy name, address, phone or fax number in your system?
Your pharmacy directory information is maintained directly by your pharmacy management system vendor. You will need to contact your vendor to have any updates applied. If your vendor requires any assistance in applying the updates, they will log a ticket with Surescripts on your behalf. If you need additional help after working with your vendor, we recommend you contact Surescripts Independent Pharmacy Help Line (IPL) at 1-877-877-3962. The IPL provides a live resource, but is not intended to replace the support pharmacists get from their pharmacy system vendor. Surescripts has set up this line to help address critical, urgent or persistent issues as a supplement to pharmacy system vendor support. NOTE: Protected Health Information (PHI) should be sent only if absolutely necessary. PHI should be sent only in compliance with federal and state law, including HIPAA. PHI should not be sent by e-mail.back to top
A local physician practice that I do a lot of business with is implementing an EMR system. How do I know if it is capable of sending me e-prescriptions via the Surescripts network?
Surescripts has certified over 200 physician software systems so the chances are very good that the practice will be able to send you e-prescriptions once they are up and running. A comprehensive listing of certified physician software can be found at the following link.back to top
What advantages does e-prescribing via the Surescripts network offer my pharmacy?
E-prescribing via the Surescripts network gives you the ability to receive new prescriptions directly into your pharmacy computer. You and your staff can also send renewal authorization requests electronically to connected physicians in your area and receive the authorization or denial on your pharmacy computer. Less time spent on calls and faxes with physicians will give you and your staff more time for patient counseling and revenue-enhancing activities like medication therapy and inventory management.
At the end of 2010, more than 234,000 prescribers, 91% of community pharmacies and six of the largest mail-order pharmacies were actively e-prescribing on the Surescripts network.back to top
I’m already receiving prescriptions as faxes. How is this different than e-prescribing?
Unlike faxes, e-prescriptions arrive directly in the pharmacy's computer system so pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians spend less time interpreting handwriting or re-keying information into their computer systems. Since the prescriber has better information available at the time of prescribing, there is a lower chance that a call back to the practice will be needed to clarify prescription information. E-prescribing enabled pharmacies can also send electronic refill requests to the practice for approval.back to top
How can I let physicians in my area know that I accept e-prescriptions via the Surescripts network?
Your pharmacy should automatically appear in the physician's e-prescribing system once you enable your connection to the Surescripts network. To help you further promote your new e-prescribing capability, Surescripts has developed resources that connected, or soon to be connected pharmacies can use to promote the benefits of e-prescribing to local physicians. Click here to access these resources.
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How many pharmacies are e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
At the end of 2010, over 91% of community pharmacies (including nearly all chain pharmacies) in the U.S. were actively e-prescribing via the Surescripts network. More are connecting every day.back to top
What does Surescripts charge for e-prescribing?
Surescripts charges a transaction fee to pharmacy software vendors. In all cases, your pharmacy management system vendor determines what it charges your pharmacy. Surescripts does not set the price or billing structure charged by the vendor to their pharmacy customers. Surescripts charges pharmacy software vendors for the following transactions: new prescriptions, renewal responses, and two optional transactions-change requests and cancel transaction.
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Why isn’t my pharmacy listed as e-prescribing enabled on your site?
To show up in the search results as a pharmacy capable of receiving e-prescriptions, your pharmacy must be able to receive e-prescriptions into your pharmacy computer rather than your fax machine. Contact your pharmacy software vendor to request this functionality which is commonly referred to as "EDI" or "Surescripts" capability.back to top
An e-prescribing physician asked me for my EDI number. What does that mean?
The physician is asking for your NCPDP number. He or she likely wants to add your pharmacy into their e-prescribing application if you are capable of receiving e-prescriptions but not listed in their system.back to top
I work for a chain pharmacy. How do I make sure prescription renewal requests are being sent electronically from our computer system to all connected prescribers in our area?
In order for a pharmacy to send a refill request electronically to a prescriber, the pharmacy must have the individual prescriber's SPI number matched correctly within their pharmacy management system. If a prescriber contacts you stating that renewal requests from your store are arriving by fax, you likely need to update that prescriber's information in your database. For a complete list of enabled prescribers and their SPI information please visit www.surescripts.com/spi. Contact your chain headquarters' support desk to have the system updated to generate refill requests electronically to these prescribers.back to top
Can compounding pharmacies, LTC pharmacies, and DME companies become enabled for e-prescribing?
In order for a pharmacy (or DME company) to be connected for e-prescribing you must be using a certified pharmacy management system. Please visit http://www.surescripts.com/connect-to-surescripts/pharmacy-software.aspx to see if your system has already completed certification with Surescripts. If you are already using a certified software system please contact your vendor for further information on enabling for e-prescribing. If your software vendor is not yet certified please contact them directly regarding their plans to certify and allow their pharmacy customers to connect for e-prescribing.
Note: At this time prescriptions for Medicare Part B drugs cannot be transmitted electronically.
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How many prescribers are e-prescribing via the Surescripts network?
At the end of 2011, more than 390,000 prescribers were actively e-prescribing on the Surescripts network. In addition, Surescripts is aggressively working to promote the benefits of a network connection to new prescribers. Doctors who wish to connect to the Surescripts network may find out more by calling 1-866-RxReady (866-797-3239).back to top
Why should our pharmacy participate in Surescripts’ Medication History service?
Providing medication history information supports prescribers in making critical decisions that affect patient health. Sharing information strengthens the relationship between pharmacists and prescribers in the clinical process. Medication history information can be used to identify potentially dangerous drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions. Medication history information can provide feedback to prescribers about fill frequencies and compliance. Medication history - as used in the prescribing process - empowers prescribers to make higher quality decisions about prescription choices that are then delivered to the pharmacy of the patient's choice.back to top
How can Surescripts’ Personal Health Record (PHR) service benefit our pharmacy?
Efficiency and Scalability
- Provides connectivity to multiple PHR providers through Surescripts' secure network
- Leverages your existing connection to Surescripts' Medication History service
- Eliminates the need to develop your own connection to each individual PHR
- Provides access to leading identity protection solutions to help ensure the privacy of your customers' personal information
Stronger Customer Relationships
- Increases visibility of your organization
- Encourages customers to take a more active role in their medication management
- Increases visibility of your organization as a partner in your customers' management of their health care
- Establishes another point of differentiation between your organization and the competition
- Establishes a presence for your organization in a fast-growing area of health care
- Regular reporting to let you know how your customers are using the service
- Partnership to help you promote your involvement as a benefit to your customers
What specific transactions can I conduct electronically via the Surescripts network using my pharmacy computer?
Your connection to the Surescripts network enables you to:
- receive a new prescription directly into your pharmacy computer system
- send a request for prescription renewals
- receive the renewal approval or denial response from the prescriber
In addition, your pharmacy may be able to receive a "Cancel" transaction (CANRX) from a prescriber and send a "Change" transaction to the prescriber if your software supports this feature.back to top
What is the status of electronic prescribing for controlled substances?
Surescripts has upgraded its nationwide network to support Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). With this capability expansion, Surescripts creates a pathway for physicians, in states in which it is allowed, to manage all their prescriptions within the electronic workflow, no longer having to prescribe controlled substances using separate methods of paper, phone, and fax.
Surescripts is committed to enabling and optimizing the EPCS process for pharmacies, software vendors and prescribers. We have gained valued and necessary experience to support the industry's efforts to move forward with EPCS, in states where it is approved.
Virtually all requirements on pharmacy applications for Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances must be handled by your pharmacy application vendor. To date, there are several EPCS certified and audited pharmacies, and pharmacy and prescriber software vendors on the Surescripts network. Looking forward, Surescripts will continue to monitor the EPCS process to assure quality, security and safety across the network. We invite participants that currently use Surescripts for their e-prescribing services, as well as new vendors, to become enabled for EPCS. Click here to learn more.back to top
Who should I contact for technical support related to e-prescribing?
You should report all issues to your pharmacy management software vendor. The software you are using at your pharmacy for e-prescribing is specific to your pharmacy management system vendor, therefore your vendor is best equipped to troubleshoot the problem. All e-prescriptions are routed through your software vendor to your pharmacy. Therefore, your pharmacy management software vendor must research any issues occurring at the pharmacy level. If your vendor cannot determine the issue on their own they will reach out to Surescripts on your behalf to report the issue. At the time the issue is resolved Surescripts will notify your software vendor who should then follow-up with you as their pharmacy customer.back to top
How do I request a refund for duplicate e-prescriptions?
Surescripts does support refunds for true duplicate transactions. If you believe you have received inappropriate duplicate messages you will need to contact your vendor to determine their policy on how to report this issue and how to request a refund. Most vendors require documentation, so please be prepared to provide the specific occurrences of these duplicate messages for any reporting and/or research to take place. Surescripts will work with your vendor to determine why the duplicate messages occurred and to determine if a refund to your vendor is warranted. Any potential refunds to your pharmacy will be provided directly by your vendor - not by Surescripts.back to top
A local prescriber is stating they cannot find my pharmacy in their EHR system. What is causing this and how do I resolve it?
The prescriber's directory is likely out of date. First you will need to verify that your pharmacy does in fact participate in e-prescribing. E-prescribing is a computer-to-computer communication. If you receive all your prescriptions via fax then you do not participate in e-prescribing and physicians may not have the ability to transmit electronically to your pharmacy. If your pharmacy does participate and the prescriber cannot find you, this indicates an issue between the prescriber and their e-prescribing/EMR vendor should provide them with an accurate/up-to-date pharmacy directory. There are a few things you can do to assist the prescriber in updating their pharmacy directory:
- Communicate to the prescriber that they must work with their EHR vendor to update their pharmacy directory and ask the prescriber to make sure they know the proper process to maintain their pharmacy directory in the future.
- Provide the prescriber with your NCPDP/NABP number. This is the number that must be loaded into the prescriber's e-prescribing application in order for a prescription to be transmitted to your pharmacy. Some vendors allow prescribers to manually add a missing pharmacy with the corresponding NCPDP/NABP number.
- Surescripts maintains a site for prescribers where they can search for and locate all e-prescribing pharmacies and their corresponding NCPDP/NABP numbers. Prescribers should visit www.surescripts.com/NCPDP to access this information to assist them in maintaining their pharmacy directory.
- Contact your pharmacy management system vendor to report this issue. They will open a support ticket on your behalf so the issue can be researched.
When I attempt to transmit a renewal request to a prescriber I receive the error message: “Receiving partner does not support this message type.”
This indicates that the prescriber you are attempting to send to does not accept renewal requests. They only have the ability to transmit new prescriptions to your pharmacy. This could also be caused by attempting to transmit a renewal request to an outdated prescriber SPI number. Your pharmacy management system vendor is responsible for providing you with the necessary tools and training to maintain your prescriber directory and allow you to differentiate those prescribers that accept electronic renewal requests and those that do not accept them. If you think you have inaccurate information in your directories please contact your vendor.
Surescripts also maintains a list of e-prescribing enabled physicians and their corresponding SPI information for those that accept renewal requests at www.surescripts.com/SPI. This as a supplemental resource you can utilize along with the tools provided by your vendor to assist in maintaining your prescriber directory.
Note: When viewing the report on the Surescripts website, those prescribers that do not accept renewal requests are listed at the bottom of the report by name only. The pharmacy does not need the prescriber's SPI number loaded into their system to receive new prescriptions. The SPI is only needed to transmit renewal requests electronically.back to top
When I send a renewal request to a prescriber they are denying it and sending it again as a new prescription “Denied, New to Follow”. Does this cause me to be billed twice and how do I prevent this from happening?
When a prescriber responds to a refill request he may change the
following fields: number of refills, written date, notes in the
response segment, and substitution. However, if the prescriber
needs to make any other changes, a new prescription must be
written. The "Denied, New to Follow" (DNTF) transaction allows the
pharmacist to distinguish between instances when the prescriber
will follow up with a new prescription versus simply denying a
refill request; the DNTF transaction closes the loop and prevents
the need for further phone calls or other
While DNTF responses are appropriate in some circumstances, they are not always used as originally intended and may result in additional charges for single prescriptions. As a result, we have decided to stop charging for DNTF response messages for both retail and mail order prescriptions as of May 1, 2013.
What do I do if I receive poor quality or miswritten electronic prescription?
Contact your pharmacy software vendor with examples of poor quality or miswritten electronic prescription occurrences. All electronic prescriptions are routed through your software vendor and research will be conducted as to how these messages were received. Once the information is compiled by the software vendor, if Surescripts involvement is required a case will be opened by your vendor directly to Surescripts Support.back to top
Can I send a message via the Surescripts network to the prescriber requesting authorization to make a change in the patient’s prescription or therapy?
Surescripts has enabled a new message type called Rx Change (RXCHG) that allows the pharmacy to send a message electronically to a prescriber to request authorization to make a change to a prescription. This is a feature that is part of a new version of the electronic prescribing standard created by NCPDP. Reach out to your pharmacy software vendor for information with respect to the "NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 implementation/certification" and ask if their software supports the Rx Change transaction.back to top
Is there any notification that the prescriber can send if they want to cancel a patient’s therapy or e-prescription?
Surescripts has enabled a new message type called Cancel (CANRX) that allows the prescriber to send a message electronically to a pharmacy to cancel therapy on a previously prescribed medication or prescription. This feature is part of a new version of the electronic prescribing standard created by NCPDP. Reach out to various prescribers that send prescriptions to your pharmacy or call their prescriber software vendors for information on their status with respect to "NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 implementation/certification". You should also check with your software vendor to see if your system is capable to receive and process Cancel transactions.back to top
What is Surescripts doing to improve the quality of e-prescriptions?
Our quality program works on all aspects of e-prescribing improvement. Surescripts has identified some key areas that are specifically targeted to improve the quality of e-prescriptions and eliminate:
- Confusing or non-specific quantity qualifiers
- Conflicting information between the notes field and directions field
- Conflicting written date from transmission date
- Poorly-formatted drug description
Surescripts White Coat of Quality program works with standalone and EHR vendors to address these issues. For more information on Surescripts Quality efforts please contact Quality@Surescripts.com.back to top