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NC Practitioner Compliance With CSRS

The home/welcome page of the NC Board of Dental Examiners has an interesting post copied from the NC Medical Board’s website. Not too unexpectedly, CSRS is flagging registrants who have been prescribing controlled substances but not reviewing a patient’s CSRS profile. In this post it states:

Administrators of the state-run North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (NC CSRS) recently sent letters to some licensees who may not be checking patient prescription histories as required before prescribing certain medicines.

State law requires that prescribers review a patient’s 12-month prescription history in the NCCSRS before prescribing a Schedule II or Schedule III opioid. The requirement went into effect July 7. The full text of the law that mandates NC CSRS use can be read here. The NC DHHS letters inform prescribers that information about their possible noncompliance has been shared with the appropriate licensing board, which has prompted multiple licensees who believe they have been inappropriately flagged as noncompliant to reach out to NCMB. NCDHHS has provided a report to NCMB and the information is under review. No determinations have been made about how to use the reported information. NCMB is committed to working with NCDHHS to improve this process and will update licensees when it determines what action, if any, to take in response to data provided.

Licensees who believe they have been inappropriately flagged as noncompliant should email NCCSRS at csrs.utilization@dhhs.nc.gov. Please note that the email address included in the NCDHHS letters mailed to prescribers includes a typo that causes messages to bounce back as undeliverable. Learn more about mandatory use of NC CSRS, including exemptions to the requirement, at www.ncmedboard.org/nccsrs.

by NC Medical Board

Dentistry is way far behind other health care domains (medicine, pharmacy, etc) when it comes to adopting a true electronic health record and e-prescribing. Frankly there is no real motivation to do so beyond e-prescribing as compared to the medical domain due to ties with reimbursement. But what most dentists do not appreciate is that much of healthcare now exists in the digital realm and information is exchanged.  This means now we all leave a real digital footprint is – especially when it comes to prescribing controlled substances.  

Though we appreciate inquiries made through CSRS enables practitioners to find out about their patients, we might not appreciate that regulatory entities could gather the same information about us.  In fact, the reporting that can be made through reporting systems like CSRS can be quite robust including the ability to rank providers activities and to find outliers.  This could mean that practitioners whose controlled substance prescribing activities do not fall within certain criteria might otherwise be flagged for further inquiry.

We believe the message is very clear for NC dentists – CSRS will probably be providing similar information to the NCBDE.  So, bring yourself into compliance, and do so now.