In an effort to cut back on prescription-drug errors and misuse, providers in New York will be required to issue prescriptions electronically.
New York is the first state to require electronic prescribing along with a penalty provision for failing to follow the procedures.
The law takes effect this month amid multiple nationwide efforts to combat and prevent opioid addiction issues, including new prescriber guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, policy changes at the Food and Drug Administration and a Senate-passed bipartisan bill creating state grant programs.
The implementation date for the New York law had to be pushed back because of software concerns. Minnesota has had the same requirement since 2011.
New York's law, called I-Stop, also mandates that providers check prescription-monitoring programs before giving patients new prescriptions. That went into effect in 2013.
Providers in rural areas in New York might be hardest hit by the new requirement since they have been slower to adopt electronic health records.
The penalty for noncompliance in New York will include fines and civil and criminal penalties.