Imprivata, DigiCert team up on EPCS technology to tighten opioid prescription access

Electronic prescribing for controlled substances continues to gain momentum as a valuable weapon in the fight against the national opioid epidemic. Imprivata, the healthcare-focused security firm, and DigiCert, the SSL certificate authority, have teamed up to deliver an automated identity proofing process, Imprivata Confirm ID, that will make EPCS compliance easier.

Thirteen states have passed laws requiring EPCS, and the massive opioid bill signed by President Trump in October, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, includes mandatory EPCS for Medicare Part D by 2021 as one of its many provisions.

EPCS provides a convenient and secure way for verified practitioners to approve or deny opioid prescriptions for patients. Using two factor authentication, doctors can approve the prescriptions remotely or while in a healthcare system’s trusted network. Electronic prescribing has a major benefit of getting paper prescriptions off the street, reducing the opportunities for doctor shopping, theft or fraud.  

Imprivata’s authentication system and DigiCert’s identity proofing technology can enable a simple, secure and auditable process for electronically prescribing opioids, the two companies say.

“While Imprivata delivers the end to end authentication for providers, DigiCert delivers authentication for connected devices and the networks and stations that providers connect to,” said Wes Wright, Chief Technology Officer at Imprivata.

Electronic prescribing, reporting and data-sharing have become major tools for the Drug Enforcement Agency and state governments in their efforts to fight back against the opioid epidemic.

Systems are being developed to help physicians monitor and better understand their patient’s opioid uses once they have left inpatient care, as are more tools to enable practitioners to better adhere to prescribing guidelines and restrictions.

As prescriptions become increasingly electronically controlled, opioid dispensation and tracking in particular are falling under strong regulatory rules. ConfirmID aims to help tighten the chain of trust in the prescription process.

“Providing multiple authentication options ensures all practitioners can complete the identity proofing process in a timely fashion, especially for individuals who may be unable to complete online verification – for example, if they have issues with their credit history,” said Mike Nelson, VP of IoT at DigiCert.

“By integrating seamlessly with our identity proofing process, Imprivata Confirm ID gives customers a single, comprehensive reporting solution to meet the DEA record-keeping requirements,” he said.

Benjamin Harris is a Maine-based freelance writer and and former new media producer for HIMSS Media.
Twitter: @BenzoHarris.

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