Authored by Christopher J. Shaughnessy
The Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch ("DEPPB") is responsible for enforcing the Kentucky Controlled Substances Act (Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 218A) and operation of the KASPER program. Complying with KASPER can be tedious, to say the least. The DEPPB has, however, sought to educate controlled substance prescribers about effective use of the system. When utilized properly, KASPER can be a valuable source of information, guide patient/physician interaction, and even ensure protection of DEA numbers. The DEPPB has released a series of helpful KASPER tips which should be reviewed by all controlled substance prescribers. The reports include information on how to reduce reports that require manual processing; how to interpret reports with unusual or incomplete information; and, everyday tips on prescribing. The latest tip sheet includes information about prescriber reports.
By taking the time to run a prescriber report, also known as a "reverse KASPER," a physician can ensure that there has been no fraudulent use of his or her DEA number. The report also confirms that patients' prescriptions are accurately being attributed to your DEA number and not someone else's.
Requesting a report is quick and easy and can be done through an eKASPER account. When logged in, follow these simple steps:
1. Select the "Administration" tab on the left hand side of the screen.
2. Select the "Account Maintenance" tab on the left hand side of the screen. Here you will see all of your account information, including name, phone number, and delegates.
3. Below that information, you will see a section called "Prescribing Report Request." The request can cover any thirty (30) day date range.
4. Select "View Report."
If errors are found on a report, the first step is to contact the dispenser. If it is determined that the dispenser reported incorrect data, the dispenser is required to submit corrected data within seven (7) days. If fraudulent activity is suspected, law enforcement should be contacted immediately.
As part of a comprehensive compliance program, prescribers need to obtain a prescribing report several times throughout the year and review the data carefully. As a best practice, a report should be generated after staff changes or any time that a DEA number could have been compromised (for example, if prescription pads are stolen from the office). Further, keep in mind some common-sense tips that can make the prescribing process run more smoothly:
If you work alongside multiple prescribers and the prescription pad is pre-printed with the names and DEA numbers of everyone in the practice, you will need to specify who is actually prescribing. You can do this by circling your name and DEA number in the pre-printed area or by clearly printing your name, DEA number and/or state license number alongside your signature.
Identify the patient.
It goes without saying that the patient's name should be on the prescription, but double-check to make sure you are including their full name and any suffixes (Sr., Jr., III, etc.). Any incident of fraud can be further reduced by including the patient's date of birth, address and Social Security Number. The more information, the better.
Do not pre-sign or post-date.
Title 21 in the Code of Federal Regulations §1306.05(a) clearly directs that "all prescriptions for controlled substances shall be dated as of, and signed on, the day when issued...". An office staff member cannot complete a pre-signed or post-dated prescription at a later time.
In the wake of increasing transparency and advancing technology, physicians must be diligent in checking data that is generated as a result of patient interactions. Suspicious information discoverable in accessible reports can lead to audits and investigations. Take the time to write prescriptions accurately and thoroughly. Review prescriber reports. When questions arise regarding controlled substances, contact the licensing board, DEPPB, the DEA, or a health care attorney. There are numerous state and federal statutes and regulations that govern controlled substances; it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the law and your prescribing privileges.
Christopher J. Shaughnessy is an attorney at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. Mr. Shaughnessy concentrates his practice area in health care law and is located in the firm's Lexington office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (859) 231-8780, ext. 1251.
This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law activities and does not constitute legal advice.
 The guidance appears in various editions of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure Newsletter and is written by Amanda J. Ward of the Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch.