APPROVED ELECTRONIC PRESCRIBING WAIVERS (link)

Controlled Substance Electronic Prescribing Requirement

Effective January 1, 2021, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.0755 requires that prescriptions for controlled substances be issued electronically, except in limited circumstances, or unless a waiver has been granted by the appropriate agency. 

A prescription for a controlled substance is not required to be issued electronically and may be issued in writing if the prescription is issued:

  • by a veterinarian;
  • in circumstances in which electronic prescribing is not available due to temporary technological or electronic failure, as prescribed by board rule;
  • by a practitioner to be dispensed by a pharmacy located outside this state, as prescribed by board rule;
  • when the prescriber and dispenser are in the same location or under the same license;
  • in circumstances in which necessary elements are not supported by the most recently implemented national data standard that facilitates electronic prescribing;
  • for a drug for which the United States Food and Drug Administration requires additional information in the prescription that is not possible with electronic prescribing;
  • for a non-patient-specific prescription pursuant to a standing order, approved protocol for drug therapy, collaborative drug management, or comprehensive medication management, in response to a public health emergency or in other circumstances in which the practitioner may issue a non-patient-specific prescription;
  • for a drug under a research protocol;
  • by a practitioner who has received a waiver from the requirement to use electronic prescribing;
  • under circumstances in which the practitioner has the present ability to submit an electronic prescription but reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient to obtain the drugs prescribed under the electronic prescription in a timely manner and that a delay would adversely impact the patient’s medical condition; or
  • before January 1, 2021.

 A dentist may apply for a waiver from the electronic prescribing requirement by:

  • submitting a waiver request to the TSBDE and providing required information, and
  • demonstrating circumstances necessitating a waiver from the requirement, including:
    • economic hardship, including:
      • any special situational factors affecting either the cost of compliance or ability to comply;
      • the likely impact of compliance on profitability or viability; and
      • the availability of measures that would mitigate the economic impact of compliance; 
    • technological limitations not reasonably within the control of the dentist; or 
    • other exceptional circumstances, including but not limited to, prescribing fewer than twenty-five prescriptions per year.

How to Request a Waiver

  • TSBDE will process submitted waiver forms beginning on December 31, 2020, which is when the board’s rule 22. Tex. Admin. Code §111.5 pertaining to electronic prescribing waivers is in effect.
  • Once approved, waivers will be issued for a period of one year. 
  • Dentists may apply for a subsequent waiver no more than 30 days before an active waiver expires.

Please contact waivers@tsbde.texas.gov if you have any questions or need assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I apply for a waiver?

To apply for a waiver, go to https://tsbde.texas.gov/e-prescribing-waiver/ and download the Electronic Prescribing Waiver Form. You can submit the form via email, fax, or mail.

  • What do I need to submit to TSBDE to qualify for a waiver?

You must submit the Electronic Prescribing Waiver Form and supporting documentation, such as a written statement of your circumstances.

  • How do I qualify for the waiver?

There are three different ways you can qualify for a waiver. If you or your practice is experiencing any of the following, you may qualify for a waiver:

  1. By experiencing economic hardship. When evaluating whether you are experiencing economic hardship, consider:
    1. special situational factors which affect either the cost of compliance or your ability to comply;
    1. the likely impact of compliance on profitability or viability; and
    1. the availability of measures that would mitigate the economic impact of complying.
  2. If your practice has technological limitations not reasonably within your control.   
  3. Other exceptional circumstances. An exceptional circumstance includes but is not limited to, prescribing fewer than 25 controlled substances per year.

On the waiver form, you will have to specify any of the above categories you are experiencing. 

  • What drugs are required to be e-prescribed?

Controlled substances, Schedules II-V.

  • If I do not prescribe controlled substances, do I need a waiver?

If you do not prescribe controlled substances, you are not required to e-prescribe and therefore do not need a waiver. If you only prescribe between 1-24 controlled substances per year (i.e. fewer than 25), you are eligible to receive a waiver if you submit a waiver form.

  • How will I be notified if I am granted a waiver?

If you are granted a waiver, it will be displayed by clicking on the Approved Electronic Prescribing Waivers link found here: https://tsbde.texas.gov/e-prescribing-waiver/ TSBDE staff is diligently processing waiver requests, and you are encouraged to check the link daily upon submitting your waiver request.

  • Does everyone at my practice need to apply for a waiver?

Yes. Each dentist who qualifies for a waiver needs to apply for his/her own individual waiver.

  • Do I need a waiver for each of my practice locations?

No. If you are granted a waiver, it applies to all your Texas practice locations.

  • How can someone determine if a dentist has a waiver.

If a dentist has a waiver from e-prescribing, it is viewable by clicking on the Approved Electronic Prescribing Waivers link found here: https://tsbde.texas.gov/e-prescribing-waiver/

NOTE: Per the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, a pharmacist is not responsible for ensuring there is a waiver. In addition, there is no requirement of the pharmacist to ensure an appropriate waiver is granted.

  • How long will my waiver last?

Your waiver is good for one year. It will expire one year from the date the waiver was approved.

  • Will I be notified before my waiver expires?

No, TSBDE is not currently notifying prescribers when their waiver expires.                                 

  • When can I reapply for a waiver?

You can apply for a new waiver within 30 days of your current waiver’s expiration.

  • How many times can I reapply for a waiver?

There is currently no limit to the number of waivers you may request.