NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 Approved As Medicare Part D/Advantage E-Prescribing Option

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today (July 1, 2010) issued an interim final rule (Rule) that permits the voluntary use of the National Council for the Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) Prescriber/Pharmacist Interface SCRIPT standard, Implementation Guide, Version 10, Release 6 (Version 10.6) (NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6) for conducting certain e-prescribing transactions for the Medicare Part D electronic prescription drug program. Review the Rule here.

Prior to the adoption the Rule, only NCPDP SCRIPT 8.1 was authorized for use in communicating Medicare Part D medication history among sponsors, prescribers and dispensers. The Rule revises Regulation §423.160(b)(4) to specify that entities now may use either NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 or 8.1 for the communication of Medicare Part D medication history among sponsors, prescribers, and dispensers.

Along with the rule, CMS issued a request for comments on the Rule.  The deadline for interested parties to comment is 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 30, 2010.

Section 101 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) (Pub. L. 108-173) requires that Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) sponsors, Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations offering Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plans  and other Medicare Part D sponsors (Plans) provide for electronic transmittal the prescribing provider, dispensing pharmacy and the dispenser of information about:

  • Eligibility,
  • Benefits (including drugs included in the applicable formulary, any tiered formulary structure and any requirements for prior authorization),
  • The drug being prescribed or dispensed and other drugs listed in the medication history,
  • The availability of lower cost, therapeutically appropriate alternatives (if any) for the drug prescribed, and
  • Certain other information.

Before the Rule, CMS had approved NCPDP SCRIPT 8.1 for conducting these electronic transmittals.

As a consequence of the Rule, Plans, prescribers and dispensers now may use either NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 or 8.1 when conducting e-Prescribing to conduct:

  • Get message transaction.
  • Status response transaction.
  • Error response transaction.
  • New prescription transaction.
  • Prescription change request transaction.
  • Prescription change response transaction.
  • Refill prescription request transaction.
  • Refill prescription response transaction.
  • Verification transaction.
  • Password change transaction.
  • Cancel prescription request transaction.
  • Cancel prescription response transaction.
  • Fill status notification transaction.
  • For the communication of Medicare Part D medication history among sponsors, prescribers, and dispensers.

The MMD does not require that prescribers or dispensers implement e-Prescribing, prescribers and dispensers who electronically transmit prescription and certain other prescription-related information for Medicare Part D covered drugs prescribed for Medicare Part D eligible individuals, directly or through an intermediary, must comply with any applicable final standards that are in effect.  The Rule provides new choices on how to accomplish this.

The author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients with reimbursement, compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, and other operations and risk management matters. You can get more information about her health industry experience here.   If you need help with these or other compliance concerns, wish to ask about arranging for compliance audit or training, or need legal representation on other matters please contact Ms. Stamer at (469) 767-8872 or via e-mail here

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For More Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.  If you need assistance evaluating or responding to the Health Care Reform Law or health care compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, or public policy concerns, please contact the author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, at (469) 767-8872, cstamer@Solutionslawyer.net.

Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section and the former Board Compliance Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 23 years experience advising health industry clients about these and other matters.  A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry and human resources matters, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about these and other related concerns.  Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health and managed care industry regulatory, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, and other operations and risk management concerns.  Her insights on these and other related matters appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications.  For additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, see here.  

You can review other recent health care and internal controls resources and additional information about the health industry and other experience of Ms. Stamer here.  If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile at here or e-mailing this information here. To unsubscribe, e-mail here.

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