Information for Dispensers

Information for Dispensers
The main goal of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is to provide a tool to health care professionals. It is intended to serve as a means to promote and improve patient wellbeing through better coordination of care, and to prevent and detect prescription drug misuse. It is not intended to interfere with the legitimate medical use of controlled substances.

Data Submission
All Maine licensed pharmacies are required to submit weekly data uploads to SAMHS’s data management contractor, Health Information Designs (HID). Data must be submitted electronically within seven (7) days of the controlled substance being dispensed. The data must be in ASAP 4.2 format for all transactions involving Scheduled II, III & IV drugs. Information on how to upload dispensed medications can be found on the Data Submitters Implementation Guide (ASAP 4.2).

Maine adheres to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) list of scheduled drugs which can be found on the U.S. Dept. of Justice, DEA, Diversion Control website.

SAMHS requests that dispensers provide the cleanest data possible. We ask for special care to be taken with the prescriber’s DEA number. The DEA number is an integral part of the system providing accurate information it is especially important that the proper number is recorded in the system. If errors are found dispensers are required to correct them in a timely fashion. Please help make this system reliable. The reports will only be as good as the data that is collected. HID will do some data cleaning, but are limited in their capacity to do so.

For any technical issues, assistance or questions regarding submitting data or making electronic corrections please contact the HID Helpdesk directly at 1-866-792-9149 or mepmp-info@hidinc.com.

Pharmacy Compliance and Waiver
Pursuant to 22 M.S.R. §7249 all Maine licensed pharmacies are required to upload all dispensed Scheduled II, III and IV drugs weekly as defined in the Maine DHHS Rules. Regardless of whether transactions for Schedule II, III or IV drugs occurred during a reporting period the pharmacy must submit a “no activity” report unless a waiver has been approved by SAMHS. Failure to submit information as required is subject to discipline by the Maine Board of Pharmacy (32 M.S.R. c.117.4).

Pharmacies may apply for a waiver from electronic submission of controlled substance prescription information under certain circumstances.  All pharmacies must upload all dispensed controlled substances weekly until approval of the waiver request.

PMP Online Database
PMP data is available free online to prescribers, pharmacists and their delegates. To access the PMP data through the web site, you must first register as a ‘Data Requester’ with SAMHS.
To register with the PMP as a Data Requester:

  1. Must be active Maine licensed prescriber or pharmacist with a valid DEA number.
  2. Print the Registration Form – For Prescribers & Dispensers.
  3. Fill out the form, sign and mail the original to SAMHS at the address located on the Form. (NOTE: Fax and email copies are not accepted.)
  4. Once registration is approved, notices will be sent to the registered email address with the user name and temporary password.
  5. Instructions on how to access data and pull reports can be found on PMP Web Course

If you have questions about the registration process, please call SAMHS at (207) 287-2595 or email samhs.irc@maine.gov.

Using Reports
SAMHS is aware that Patient History Reports could create tough decisions for pharmacists dealing with customers who appear to be involved with questionable activity or are receiving conflicting or numerous prescriptions by multiple physicians.

By State law [32M.R.S. §13795(2)] a pharmacist may exercise discretion and refuse to fill any prescription or dispense any drug if the pharmacist is unsatisfied as to the legitimacy or appropriateness of any prescription presented without any fear of disciplinary action from the Board of Pharmacy or from civil liability.

SAMHS does not presume to tell dispensing pharmacies what to do with the PMP data. Pharmacists should use their best professional judgment on each case as it presents itself. SAMHS suggests contacting and communicating with the prescribers connected to the customer for coordination and collaboration. The objective is to identify possible problems, get people the treatment they need, curb any illicit use of prescription drugs and provide appropriate patient care.

Confidentiality/HIPAA
SAMHS and HID carefully protect patient confidentiality. Access to the PMP data is limited to registered users. Note that all information/reports accessed through the PMP database are personal and confidential. It is considered as personal health information (PHI) and must be treated as such.

Because SAMHS is a “health oversight agency” under HIPAA and the data submission is mandated by legislation, pharmacies do not need to use a patient release form or notify their patients that information is being released (45 CFR §164.512). However, pharmacies are not prevented from adding text about this release of information to their release of information forms.

Questions/Contact
SAMHS is committed to creating a good working relationship with all healthcare providers as they use the PMP system to provide better care to the people of this state and address any problems of prescription drug misuse, abuse and diversion. Please feel free to contact us at SAMHS with your questions and concerns. HID staff members are also available to answer any technical questions about the PMP web portal, log-in or data submission.

SAMHS:
Tel: (207) 287-2595
Email: samhs.irc@maine.gov
Staff:   John Lipovsky, PMP Coordinator
Eriko Farnsworth, PMP Project Integration Coordinator

HID Help Desk:
Tel: 1-866-792-3149
Email: mepmp-info@hidinc.com

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