DERF-a-Palooza at NCPDP

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By Michael Burger, Senior Consultant

The February meeting of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) ePrescribing and Related Transactions Workgroup 11 will be a real DERF-a-Palooza, with some 26 potential changes to the NCPDP SCRIPT standard offered up for discussion and action.“DERF” is the quirky acronym for a Data Element Request Form – which is the process to propose and approve modifications to the SCRIPT standard used for ePrescribing.   

DERF-a-Palooza came about because of the industry’s desire to get their proposed changes nailed down and approved so they could be incorporated into the next round of Medicare Part D standards adoption. (See the timeline below). An irregular update schedule by standards development organizations (SDOs) has long been a pain point for many government regulators, not just the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which runs the Medicare program.  As a result, regulations often were out of sync with the latest version of a standard.

NCPDP listened and the February meeting of Workgroup 11 represents a first step to bring regularity to the process.Kudos to NCPDP for taking the initiative and making this happen.  While the timing may not get all of desired changes into the DERF queue in time for this release, this should be a temporary situation as the idea of a schedule irons itself out.We expect that other SDOs will follow suit.  After all, it’s in everyone’s best interests to have the most up-to-date standards available for timely adoption by Medicare and other programs.

Stay tuned to this space for a summary of the meeting.