Jan 122017
 January 12, 2017  Posted by  Govt, Healthcare, Surveillance

From the press release:

More than 55 million people from the states of MassachusettsNew HampshireNew York and Texas are now covered by the prescription monitoring program (PMP) data sharing system administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) and technology partner Appriss Health. The addition of these states to the NABP PMP InterConnect® network brings the total collaboration to 37 states sharing PMP data to combat the abuse of prescriptions drugs, with additional states expected to join the system soon.

Over the past few months, these states have updated their PMP software and tested their systems in order to ensure full functionality with PMP InterConnect and compliance with their own data standards.

“As states continue to join this system, authorized physicians and pharmacists will have access to more comprehensive information about prescription histories allowing them to make more informed medical decisions,” said NABP President Hal Wand, MBA, RPh. “PMP InterConnect is a unique system that can help healthcare practitioners identify potentially problematic trends with prescription drugs so problems can be addressed early.”

These new participants will also be represented on the governing body, which determines the strategic, technical and operational evolution of PMP InterConnect. Each state is able to use the system, free of charge, in full compliance with their own laws to provide the greatest benefit to their citizens. For example, Massachusetts sent more than 625,000 requests to 21 states in just the first month of operations with PMP InterConnect.

“The fight against prescription drug abuse is one of our top public health concerns,” said Allison Vordenbaumen Benz, RPh, MS, Director of Professional Services, Texas State Board of Pharmacy. “We have joined the InterConnect program because it will ensure our public health professionals secure access to information that can have a positive impact on the health of our local communities.”

PMP InterConnect was designed to allow authorized healthcare professionals to obtain multi-state information about their patients’ controlled substance prescriptions. PMP InterConnect delivers healthcare providers a more complete view of patient records to combat drug diversion and drug abuse nationwide. Through a comprehensive collaborative approach, NABP’s InterConnect delivers a practical solution that processes prescription data for millions of patient encounters each year.

“We’re excited about the growth and response to PMP InterConnect,” said Mr. Wand. “Our goal is to reach every state with a PMP to guarantee a true connection across our country in an effort for greater medical knowledge and our patients’ safety.”

About NABP PMP InterConnect

NABP PMP InterConnect® is a highly secure communications exchange platform that facilitates the transmission of PMP data across state lines to authorized requestors, while ensuring that each state’s data-access rules are enforced. It is currently processing more than 3.9 million requests and 8.2 million responses per month for consolidated multistate prescription monitoring program (PMP) reports. For more information about PMP InterConnect, visit the initiatives section of the NABP website: https://nabp.pharmacy/initiatives/.

About National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its state member boards and jurisdictions for the purpose of protecting the public health. Founded in 1904, NABP aims to ensure the public’s health and safety through its pharmacist license transfer and pharmacist competence assessment programs, as well as through its VIPPS®, VAWD®, and DMEPOS accreditation programs.

About Appriss Health:  Appriss Health, an Appriss company, provides the nation’s most comprehensive platform for early identification, prevention and management of substance use disorders.   Providing state government agencies with the most advanced prescription monitoring program (PMP) solutions, Appriss Health delivers real-time decisioning tools, critical insights and interventions to millions of patient encounters each year. Appriss Health’s solutions enable healthcare providers, pharmacists, and care team members to assess and manage clinical risk and provide patient support to positively impact patient safety and population health outcomes.

If you’d like more details about their data security, see this FAQ with some more details. I am not qualified to evaluate their security, of course, but I’d like to know more about how states are really monitoring/auditing access. This is one of those systems that has me most concerned in terms of potential for abuse, and I’d like to see them publicly reveal audit results as to whether the system can, and does, detect any instances where doctors may have used or misused the system to snoop on relatives and friends, etc.

And then, of course, I have questions/concerns about government access to this database and whether there is sufficient court oversight when the DEA or some other federal or state agency wants to look at a particular patient’s or doctor’s records.

So although I understand the motivation to prevent prescription drug abuse, I am leery of any such system and think that all of us should be asking more questions and getting more information about how our prescription histories and data are protected.

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