Baker-Polito Administration Launches New Prescription Monitoring Program

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Public Health (DPH) today launched the Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT). MassPAT is DPH’s new online Prescription Monitoring Program’s (PMP) system designed to improve performance, access, and usability for prescribers and pharmacists.

The system, which went live this morning, has already been used for thousands of searches, with an average response time of just over 1.5 seconds.

The need for a more efficient and user friendly online PMP system, which lists every filled prescription for federally controlled substances in the state, was highlighted as one of Governor Charlie Baker’s Opioid Working Group’s recommendations last year.

“As we work to bend the trend on the opioid epidemic, today’s new PMP launch will make it easier and faster for prescribers to use the system and make more informed clinical decisions based on data,” said Governor Baker. “This system will provide prescriber performance benchmarks, create transparency and raise awareness as we work collaboratively to fight this public health crisis.”

“A priority of the Governor’s Working Group was an improved PMP that helps prescribers and pharmacists ensure the proper use of opioids,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Chair of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group. “This new PMP also has interoperability with electronic medical records and with other states for data sharing.”

The new online PMP system includes:

  • An improved user-friendly interface and faster access to data and reports;
  • Integration and compatibility with Commonwealth health providers’ electronic medical record systems to ensure safe prescribing;
  • Efficient onboarding for users including prescribers, delegates, residents and interns, pharmacies and dispensers.

As of today’s launch, MassPAT also includes data sharing with three of our four contiguous states: Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Data sharing with New York is expected to begin by the end of August, while connectivity with Maine and New Hampshire is expected in the future. Interoperability with other states’ online PMP systems is considered a key tool in preventing duplicate prescribing between states.

“We appreciate working closely with the medical community to launch the new PMP,” said Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “We are confident this new system will make it easier for prescribers and pharmacists to access and submit information; and will allow for enhanced reporting for both physicians and DPH.”

As of today, 63 percent of prescribers who have issued a Schedule II-III prescription over the past six months have registered for the system. Approximately seventy percent of all expected users have registered. Users can sign up for the MassPAT at https://massachusetts.pmpaware.net/login. Registration takes 3-5 minutes.

DPH announced last year that medical residents would be granted access to the PMP for the first time and they were invited to register for the system beginning August 1, 2016.

Appriss, Inc. was selected as the partner vendor to develop and implement the new system following a competitive procurement process.

Background

The PMP provides, to authorized users, a patient’s prescription history for Schedule II – V prescriptions for the prior 12 months as reported by all Massachusetts pharmacies and by out-of-state pharmacies delivering to people in Massachusetts. Additionally, the MA Online PMP prescription summary report informs clinical decision-making to help prevent, or stop, harm from duplicate drug therapy, prescription drug misuse or abuse and diversion.

Utilizing the MA Online PMP system, a licensed prescriber or pharmacist may obtain authorization, through completion and submission of an enrollment form, to view the prescription history of a patient for the past year. The MA Online PMP system also assists state and federal investigative agencies in addressing prescription drug diversion by supporting ongoing, specific controlled substances related investigations.

As of July 2016, there were 48,821 enrolled registered users: 33,252 practitioners; 9,181 mid-levels (Advance Practice Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants); 4,201 pharmacists; and 2,187 delegates. Additionally, there are approximately 200,000 prescriptions per week (13 million per year) received by the MA PMP program.

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