Activating e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS): Step 1 of 2

Note: Access to the EHR features described in this article may differ for practices who have already purchased a Practice Fusion EHR subscription plan. Please contact Practice Fusion Customer Service for additional information.

E-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) is available for Practice Fusion customers in all 50 states. EPCS with Practice Fusion is certified and meets all DEA requirements. 

 Practice Fusion EPCS certification credentials

  • Name of certified e-prescribing software application: Practice Fusion EHR
  • Software version certified: 3.6
  • Name of software application provider (company name): Practice Fusion, Inc.

Prior to signing up for EPCS

Prior to beginning EPCS signup, you must have:

  • Your DEA number 
  • Access to the phone associated with the phone number listed on your credit report. This is necessary in order to receive a security code via voice or text.
  • Access to a smartphone. This smartphone is necessary for both EPCS signup and when completing all electronic controlled substance prescriptions using the EHR. You will also need to have the ability to download applications to your smartphone. We recommend downloading the Symantec VIP Access app to your mobile phone prior to beginning the EPCS sign-up process.
  • A Practice Fusion administrator other than yourself to grant you permission to e-sign controlled substances. The other administrator does not need to be enabled for e-prescribing. If you are the only administrator in your practice, you will need to designate another staff person as an administrator temporarily in order to complete EPCS sign-up. You can change that user’s administrator status after EPCS verification is complete. 
  • If you have not previously completed Norton Symantec identity verification for e-prescribing enablement, you will need to complete Norton Symantec identity verification during EPCS signup. To do this, you will need:
    • A recent credit report from Experian. During identity verification, you will be asked questions based on your credit report. Information such as name, address, and phone number that you enter during identity verification must match the information on your credit report.

    • A personal credit card associated with the address that matches the address listed on your credit report. Your card will not be charged and will only be used for identity verification.

Begin the EPCS activation process from your Dashboard
On your Dashboard, select the Controlled Substances eRx tile. To see this tile, you will need to have e-prescribing enabled for your account. For instructions on setting up e-prescribing, click here.

Enter your DEA number
1. Enter your valid DEA number and click Confirm.

Download the Symantec VIP Access app to your mobile phone
You will need this app to e-sign all prescriptions for controlled substances. VIP Access is available on the following devices:

Once downloaded, it is important that you do not delete the app from your mobile phone. 


Verify your identity with Norton Symantec
1. Click Verify Identity. You’ll be logged out Practice Fusion and taken to
Norton Symantec to complete identity verification.

Note: If you have previously completed Norton Symantec identity verification for e-prescribing enablement, you will not need to complete the verification process again. Click Launch Norton Symantec setup screen and proceed to the Security Code instructions below.

2. You’ll see a message notifying you that a confirmation link has been sent via email to your Practice Fusion login email address. If you are unable to locate the email, select Resend email with confirmation link.


3. Click Confirm Now to validate your email address, then click Continue to proceed with the identity verification process. 



Identity Verification
Before starting the identity verification process, we recommend requesting a current copy of your credit report to reference.

Part A: Personal Information

1. Your first and last name will populate with the information entered during e-prescribing setup process.
2. Enter your home address and all applicable phone numbers associated with your credit report. Note: The home address must be associated with the credit card number you will enter in Part B.

           

Part B: Personal Credit Information

1. Enter your Date of Birth and Social Security Number.
2. Enter your credit card number. Note: This must be a personal credit card, and not a debit or corporate card number. Ensure this credit card is a frequently-used credit card with a billing address that matches your home address. Your credit card will not be charged and will not be saved. It will only be used to confirm your name and address.


Part C: Security Questions

1. Answer multiple choice questions based on your credit history, then click Continue.
2. Click Allow to continue the enrollment process.

    

Security Code
You will be prompted to enter a security code, then click Verify. You may receive the code via two methods:

  • Phone (default): If either phone number entered during Part A matches your credit records, you will receive a security code by voice call or SMS to that phone. If your home number matched, you will receive the security code by voice. If your mobile number matched, you will receive the code by SMS.
  • USPS mail: You will need to wait up to 10 business days to receive a USPS letter from Symantec to your verified home address containing a security code if it cannot be delivered by voice call or SMS. To continue the verification process after receiving your code, navigate back to the Practice Fusion Dashboard and select the Controlled Substances eRX tile. Click Verify Identity or Launch Norton Symantec and you will be prompted to enter the code.

Note: If you previously completed Norton Symantec identity verification and entered a security code during e-prescribing enablement, the security code will be sent via the same method by which you previously received it. This may be by voice call, SMS, or USPS mail to your verified home address.


Register your VIP Access application to set up e-signing for controlled substances
1. Enter the Credential ID listed within the Symantec VIP Access app. This code is unique to the particular installation of the app.
2. Enter the six-digit security code listed within the app, which refreshes every 30 seconds.
3. Click Next to be redirected to the Practice Fusion login screen.

Note: Do not delete this app from your smartphone after this step, as it will be needed to e-sign prescriptions for controlled substances.

 

Set up e-signing permissions
Per DEA requirements, a practice administrator other than yourself will need to grant you permission to e-sign prescriptions for controlled substances. For instructions, see
How do I set up EPCS e-signing permissions? 

FAQ

Why do I need to complete an additional verification process for EPCS? I already completed it when signing up for e-prescribing.
 
Not all practitioners are eligible to prescribe controlled substances, so EPCS was built as an add-on to our e-prescribing module. The EPCS activation process includes a number of requirements that are specifically mandated by the DEA.

What is Norton Symantec and why is it asking for my personal information?
Practice Fusion partnered with Norton Symantec, a credential service provider, to meet DEA requirements for identity verification and e-signing prescriptions for controlled substances. Your personal information will be only be used to verify your identity. No information will be saved except for your name and contact information.

Where do the verification questions come from?
Identity verification questions are based on your personal credit history.

What if I fail the verification process?
If you fail the identity verification process, a message will be displayed indicating that the number of allowable attempts has been reached and you will need to try again later. For more information, see:
What if I fail identity verification during eRx and EPCS sign up?

What do I do if I'm the only user in my practice?
It’s a DEA requirement that two individuals be involved in setting e-signing control for electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS).

According to the requirement, one individual must be the DEA registrant who has obtained the two-factor authentication credential. For Practice Fusion practices, this person is the provider registered with the DEA who has completed identify verification through Norton Symantec and linked the VIP access app on their smartphone to their Practice Fusion account.

The DEA specifies that the second individual must be someone who can be responsible for verifying that the registrant’s DEA number and state medical license number are current and in good standing. This individual is also responsible for managing e-signing controls, which means they will determine which providers at the practice have the ability to e-prescribe controlled substances.  

Because the DEA specifies these responsibilities for the second individual, an account administrator other than the DEA registrant must log in and grant access to e-prescribe controlled substances. You have flexibility in choosing this account administrator.

We understand the two individual requirement for setting e-signing controls may be a challenge for sole practitioners, but it is a DEA requirement.  

Why do I need a smartphone?
A smart phone is required to use the Symantec VIP Access application, which will be linked to your EPCS account. The VIP Access application is used to generate the time sensitive one-time password that is used to both confirm changes to e-signing controls and is also used to e-sign prescriptions for controlled substances.


Which credit card should I use to verify my identity?
This must be a personal credit card, and not a debit or corporate card number. Ensure this credit card is a frequently-used credit card with a billing address that matches your home address. Your credit card will not be charged and will not be saved.

What if I don't have a credit card?
It’s a DEA requirement that the practitioner’s identity be verified using a government-approved credential service provider. Practice Fusion has integrated with Norton Symantec to perform identity verification. At this time, Norton Symantec requires a personal credit card number to complete verification that meets DEA requirements

How do I resend my six-digit Norton Symantec security code if I didn't initially receive it?
If you need to receive the security code again by voice or text, select the Re-send the code via text or Re-send the code via voice link on the Enter Security Code screen.

If you need to receive the code again by USPS mail, click the Send Code again link on the Enter Your Mail Code screen. Please note that you will need to complete the identity verification process again to reissue the activation code by mail.

 

e-Prescribing

  1. How do I sign up for eRx (e-Prescribing)?
  2. How do I send an eRx (e-Prescription)?
  3. How do I process eRx (e-Prescribing) refill requests?
  4. How do I prescribe multiple medications in a single order?
  5. How do I search for a pharmacy or enter a preferred pharmacy?
  6. Why am I unable to send an eRx (e-Prescription)?
  7. What do eRx (e-Prescribing) error messages mean?
  8. Activating e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS): Step 1 of 2
  9. Setting up EPCS e-signing permissions: Step 2 of 2
  10. How do I send e-prescriptions (eRx) and approve refills for controlled substances?
  11. How do I enable and use prescription task delegation?
  12. How do I print and format prescriptions?
  13. What is the status of my eRx (e-Prescribing) request?
  14. Prescription Formulary FAQ's
  15. How do I edit my Drug-Drug and Drug-Allergy Interactions Settings?
  16. How do I add my NPI and DEA numbers to printed prescriptions?
  17. Can I be enabled for e-prescribing on two Practice Fusion accounts at the same time?
  18. How do I edit a refill sent by the pharmacy?
  19. Can I e-Prescribe through multiple eRx vendors?
  20. How do I add a pharmacy to the database?
  21. How can I discontinue a medication?
  22. How can you see the status of an eRx (e-Prescription)?
  23. How does I-STOP affect my practice and what is Practice Fusion doing to prepare for EPCS?
  24. How do I sign up for eRx or EPCS if I have a credit freeze?
  25. What does the eRx (e-Prescribing) "Pending" status mean?
  26. How do I disable my e-prescribing with Practice Fusion?
  27. How do I re-activate eRx (e-Prescribing)?
  28. How can I help a provider verify eRx (e-Prescribing) credentials?
  29. How can I disable refill requests?
  30. How do I update my phone or fax number for eRx (e-Prescribing)?
  31. Who can send an e-prescription?
  32. Why am I not receiving eRx (e-Prescribing) refills?
  33. What if I fail e-Prescribing (eRx) verification?
  34. How do I use eCoupons?
  35. How do I use electronic prior authorizations?
  36. How do I print an e-Prescription receipt?
  37. How do I update the VIP Access application for EPCS?
  38. How do I use medication adherence?
  39. Why am I receiving an alert to update my medical license?
  40. How can I see medication costs and cost-saving alternatives?
  41. What does it mean when a patient medication is no longer available?
  42. Ohio Prescription Instructions
  43. How does the Maine EPCS Opiates Mandate under L.D. 1646 affect my practice?
  44. How do I initiate a request for a prior authorization from the EHR?
  45. How do I submit prior authorizations via Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR)?

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