CMS calls on state Medicaid to integrate EHR, PDMP data to fight opioid epidemic

In a June 11 letter to state Medicaid directors, CMS shared a guidance on how the programs could better use federal funds to combat the opioid crisis through health IT.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act affords qualifying states a 90 percent enhanced funding match to accelerate the adoption and use of health information exchanges and EHRs. CMS encourages states to evaluate their CMS contracts to see whether these additional funds are an option.

The agency specifically wants states to integrate prescription drug monitoring program data into their EHRs as a way of reducing burden on providers.

"This integration removes the requirement for providers to log in to a separate system, manage a separate login and disrupt their workflow to query the PDMP," the letter states. "Single sign-on interoperability between EHR and PDMP, such that PDMP results are displayed when the EHR indicates a controlled substance is prescribed, could be supported."

The guidance further suggests states integrate PDMP data with their HIEs to aid in data sharing, as well as "consider linking screening data from risk assessment tools such as the Opioid Risk Tool into EHRs and/or HIEs to facilitate targeted case management or to deploy other resources or follow up interventions."

Additionally, "states might also consider using Medicaid support to add systems supporting the Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances. These systems might be integrated into other pharmacy systems or HIE architecture and complement broader state initiatives around securing prescribing processes."

CMS hopes states use the guidance to enhance their use of technology to better address the opioid epidemic.

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