After receiving dozens of complaints about the August Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) mandatory use compliance reports, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians sent a letter to the directors of both the medical and pharmacy boards asking that these emails stop until the integrity of OARRS data is verified.
In the letter, OAFP President Stan Anderson, MD stated, “If you can’t ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data, please stop sending emails to prescribers suggesting that they are failing to follow Ohio law and administrative rules relative to controlled substance prescribing. These prescriber emails should not resume until data integrity is ensured.”
- ICD-10 Codes Required by Electronic Medical Record (EMR) – The largest number of complaints focuses on compliance reports that indicate that ICD-10 codes are missing. Physicians are using EMR systems that require that the ICD-10 code be on the script in order for the script to be sent to the pharmacy. So there is no question that the ICD-10 code is on the script.
- Incorrect Medical License Number – The second largest number of complaints pertains to emails addressed to a physician but listing an incorrect medical license number. Clearly, tying a physician to the wrong medical license number does not instill great confidence in the integrity of any of the data contained in the communication. A communication to a licensed physician with the wrong medical license number from the state’s licensing body is embarrassing and inexcusable.
- Hospice Patients – The third largest number of complaints concerns a problem that the OAFP has brought to the attention of the medical and pharmacy boards on numerous occasions. Hospice patients and skilled nursing facility patients are exempt from reporting requirements but continue to show up in the prescribers’ compliance reports.
- ICD-10 Codes Missing for Gabapentin – Next, is the prescriber being faulted for ICD-10 codes missing from gabapentin scripts. Per information on the State Medical Board of Ohio’s website, ICD-10 codes are not required for gabapentin, only a statement of intended days-supply is required.
- Not Practicing Medicine – And finally, in one particularly concerning complaint, a physician received a non-compliance report for August when the physician was not even practicing medicine.
Dr. Anderson goes on to state, “Primary care physicians are busy; their time needs to be spent with patients, delivering patient care, not trying to figure out what is wrong with the erroneous data OARRS is sending them. A 2016 study published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine found that during a typical day, primary care physicians spend 27% of their time on clinical activities and 49% on administrative activities. These data-challenged compliance reports contribute to administrative burden which, in turn, contributes to physician burnout and physician workforce shortages.”
Dr. Anderson’s letter continues, “Conscientious prescribers work hard to maintain best practices in complying with the ever-changing laws and regulations governing OARRS. Prioritizing OARRS data integrity is imperative in making the OARRS system a helpful tool for physicians. Email communications about flawed data need to stop until the integrity of the data is ensured.”
The letter concludes with a request for a written response with an explanation as to issues summarized above.