Michigan rolls out new online automated prescription system
Michigan on Tuesday announced it launched its improved Michigan Automated Prescription System, a system that doctors and other controlled substance providers are encouraged to use to more accurately track prescription drugs in an effort to combat rising overdose deaths.
But only an estimated 30 percent of physicians who prescribe opioid-based painkillers used the old MAPS system, a percentage that Lt. Gov Brian Calley, state Sen. Toyna Schuitmaker and other supporters of the new tracking system hope to change.
Reluctance of doctors to use MAPS primarily has been the 10 minute wait to verify prescriptions and the difficulty to read raw data as it was presented, said David Krhovsky, an anesthesiologist and president of the Michigan State Medical Society.
"The new system provides detailed information about patient prescription history as well as analytical reports that really streamline the interaction doctors have with the current system versus the prior platform," Krhovsky said. "The accuracy of the data and the speed at which the information can be obtained by the prescriber is vastly improved over the previous iteration."
With the system up and running since April 4, Krhovsky said physicians are telling him and the society that the new system is an upgrade.
Under the new MAPS, physicians are required to first enroll in the program before checking patients' records and reporting prescriptions filled.
Kim Gaedeke, state director of the bureau of professional licensing, said 17,000 prescribers registered during the first week, which is 36 percent of the 51,000 licensed prescribers for Schedule 2-5 controlled substances. Last year, about 30 percent of prescribers were registered, but there were duplicate registrants.
"The data is in real time versus 24 hours it took to upload to the system," Gaedeke said. "The data is more readily available to practitioners."
Providers can also view alerts on patients, Gaedeke said. Alerts could tell a provider if the patient has a substance abuse problem or that treatment isn't working. For example, an alert could show a provider that a patient has seen more than six doctors in last 60 days.
"The provider can ask questions of patients, maybe look to see if there is a problem, a substance abuse program, or treatment not addressing the pain," she said.
The MAPS system, however, does not mandate the provider report anything to the state or law enforcement, she said.
Over the past two months, Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and a dozen other lawmakers introduced several bills to require doctors who prescribe Schedule 2-5 controlled substances prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies and practitioners to use the MAPS system.
Senate Bills 166 and 167, which would require doctors to use MAPS when prescribing controlled substances Schedule 2-5, are in the Senate Committee on Health Policy. SBs 236 and 237, also in that committee, would facilitate the development of a lesson plan that outlines the dangers of prescription drugs to be used in our schools. Last year, Schuitmaker introduced similar legislation that died. Some legislators wanted to wait until the MAPS system was up and running before approving the bill.
The bills also increase penalties for physicians and pharmacists who wrongfully prescribe, dispense, manufacture or distribute controlled substances.
Gov. Rick Snyder has said he supports the four-bill package.
Brad Bauer, an executive with Louisville-based Appriss Health, which is the state's MAPS vendor, said the company is in 43 states with similar online systems.
"Every state is different," he said. "In voluntary states, 30 percent to 40 percent of providers are registered. In states mandated by state law, you see a spike ... up to 80 percent are registered."
In 2014, the number of drug overdose deaths in Michigan rose 14 percent to 1,745, according to a report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, opioids, including prescription opioid pain relievers such as hydrocodone and morphine, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin, killed more than 28,000 people in 2014, more than any year on record. At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
"Michigan rolls out new online auotmated prescription system" originally appeared in Crain's Detroit Business.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.