Colorado Passes Electronic Prescriptions Requirement Bill

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Colorado legislature has passed Senate Bill 79 (SB 79), and the state’s governor has signed it into law. We previously discussed SB 79 here, and you can review the text and history of SB 79 in full here.
SB 79 requires that physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, podiatrists and optometrists submit prescriptions for Schedule II-IV substances electronically. The provisions of this law will take effect after July 1, 2021, with some rural and solo practitioners needing to comply by July 1, 2023.
The bill exempts practitioners from needing to submit electronic prescriptions in a number of fact-specific circumstances. An “economic hardship” exemption that practitioners may request from their licensing boards is one of the major amendments made to SB 79 after it was introduced. This exemption may only be for a period of one year, but it can be renewed if the practitioner still meets the conditions.
As stated before, SB 79 follows a general trend towards greater use of electronic prescriptions and databases aimed at making the prescription process more secure and less subject to misuse. As is the case with any new law, the affected departments will adopt administrative codes that will provide additional guidance for complying with these provisions. Fortunately, Colorado practitioners have a little more than two years (at least) to prepare for these changes.