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MO Set to Launch Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The enactment of this program will make Missouri the 50th to integrate prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data into the EHR.

Missouri is the latest and the last state to launch a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) EHR integration. The program aims to curb statewide opioid addiction by improving prescribing practices across health systems.

The long-awaited PDMP EHR integration proceeds after nearly a decade of debate among Missouri lawmakers over patient privacy concerns. When the push to establish Missouri’s statewide monitoring program stalled, Missouri cities such as St. Louis County implemented their own PDMP.

St. Louis County’s PDMP will dissolve once the statewide PDMP has been fully implemented.

Following the passage of the PDMP legislation, Missouri inked a $1.4 million contract with Bamboo Health, which ran the county-level program operated by St. Louis County, to operate the statewide PDMP EHR integration.

“Bamboo Health will seamlessly transition the St. Louis County … system to the Missouri statewide system without the need for a complicated data migration project,” Bamboo Health said in a statement to Gov. Mike Parson’s administration, which was acquired by local news sources.

According to Governor Mike Parson, pharmacists who dispense controlled substances will be required to enter prescriptions into the database, which would then be made accessible to providers.

Since the St. Louis PDMP began operating in 2018, opioid prescriptions per 100 people have gone down to 58.3 from 80.4 opioid prescriptions, according to 2019 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PDMPs address the opioid crisis by optimizing prescribing practices, targeting treatment to at-risk patients, and mitigating the risk of potential abuse or fraud by patients who obtain prescriptions from multiple providers.

The integration allows users to access PDMP functionality through their EHR instead of logging into it through a separate browser window, which streamlines efficiency and decreases workflow burden. 

“Clinician use of PDMPs is a promising state-level intervention to improve opioid prescribing, inform clinical practice, and support safer and more effective patient care,” ONC officials Lolita Kachay, Jawanna Henry, and Wes Sargent wrote in a HealthITBuzz blog post.

“Integrating PDMP data into EHR systems addresses barriers to accessing and using PDMP data to help inform clinical practice to improve opioid prescribing,” they explained.

The use of PDMPs has become more prevalent and mandatory across states over the last few years.

Recently, the New Jersey Prescription Drug Monitoring Program received $1.4 million in grant funding to enhance the state’s existing program.

The funding opportunity will further support the NJPMP’s EHR integration and expand the state-wide effort to regulate the abuse, misuse, and diversion of controlled substances.

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