Registration and Onboarding for EPCS
This article will provide the steps necessary to complete the registration and onboarding process for EPCS. In addition, this article will cover how to set up SOAPware for EPCS.
Activate Your EPCS License
Contact the SOAPware Sales department to purchase and activate your EPCS license. Each provider who wishes to submit controlled medications electronically will need an EPCS license.
In order to utilize EPCS features, you must be on SOAPware version 7.0.7150 or higher.
Download the Soft Token for your Smart Phone or Tablet
Each provider will need both a hard token (ie: key fob device) and soft token (ie: smart phone app) to ensure that you are never locked out from your ability to electronically prescribe controlled substances in case one is lost or broken. In order to complete the two-factor authentication process when prescribing a controlled medication, the provider will need either the hard token or soft token available at that time. The hard token device will be ordered for you by the SOAPware Sales representative and you should receive your hard token device within a week.
The provider will need to download a soft token device in order to complete the registration process. Soft token applications are available for most smart phones and tablets, including iPhone, Android, Windows phone, and Blackberry. To download the application, open your App Store on your device and search for VIP Access. This is a free application provided by Symantec, as seen in the screenshot above. Download the application and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.
*Note: Whenever the mobile device is upgraded, this application must be re-downloaded and re-registered. At that time, see the following lesson Register an Additional Token.
Begin EPCS Registration
Log In to SOAPware to Begin EPCS Registration
After the EPCS license has been activated by a SOAPware Sales representative, the provider will need to log in to SOAPware to complete the registration and identity proofing process.
Upon login, the provider will receive the EPCS Registration wizard. Most of the information in this screen will be populated from the provider's data in Tools > Provider Manager. Ensure that all information is correct and enter your Gender and Date of Birth (*Note: please verify that your email address is correct; an email will be sent to this address in order to complete the process). Click Submit to continue the registration process.
Check Email for Directions from EPCS Gold
After clicking the Submit button on the previous screen, the provider will receive an email from DrFirst containing instructions for completing the registration and identity proofing process.
The email will contain a link, your NPI, and an Invite ID. Click the "Click to Register" link to proceed.
Enter Invite to Proceed
Your NPI and Invite ID will be automatically populated into the "I have an Invite" section of the EPCS Gold screen. Click Proceed to continue.
*Note: If your NPI and Invite ID were not automatically populated, please copy and paste this information into the "I have an Invite" screen. This information can be located in the email invitation.
Complete the Identity Proofing Process (IDP)
Next, you will be taken to the User Registration screen. Please verify that all information is correct and enter your email address. When entering the DEA#, the alphabetic characters must be in all caps. Please enter your physical home address and not a business address or P.O. Box.
On the right side of the screen, the prescriber has the option of entering some additional personal information to help confirm their identity. All of the information on the right side of the screen is optional.
- Credit Card Number: If you choose to enter a credit card number, it must be from a personal account, which is billed to your physical home address. If a credit card security freeze is in place, or a fraud alert/victim statement is on file for the credit card, you cannot use the card number. If in doubt, leave this field blank.
- Phone Number: If you choose to enter a phone number, it must be a personal land line or a cell phone that is billed to you personally (not to your business), at your home address. Otherwise, leave this field blank.
- Driver's License State/Driver's License Number: It is recommended that you leave this field blank.
Click Next to proceed. You will receive an alert box asking you to confirm that all of the information you entered is correct. After confirming your information is correct, you should be taken to the next step. If, instead, you are brought back to the Registration page with an error message, correct the field(s) that are in error. If the error refers to any of the optional fields on the right, simply delete the contents of that field and try again. If you need further asssitance with any error messages, please contact SOAPware Support by submitting a ticket at www.soapware.com/ticket.
Best Practices for the Identity Proofing Process (IDP)
- When entering the DEA#, the alphabetic characters must be in all caps.
- Use a credit card that is the prescriber's PERSONAL credit card (not a business credit card). The credit card entered should be one that has a billing address and phone number for the prescriber's physical home address.
- If a credit card security freeze is in place, the prescriber will not advance to the IDP questions. In order to resolve this, the prescriber must request a removal of the security freeze.
- If a fraud alert/victim statement is on file for the credit card, the prescriber may advance to the question portion of IDP, but will fail. In order to resolve this, the prescriber must request removal of the fraud alert/victim statement.
- If you use a phone number, use either a land line phone number that has a billing address of the prescriber's home address or a mobile phone that is a personal cell phone
- Refrain from using the driver's license as a means to pass IDP unless otherwise indicated.
Answer Identity Verification Questions
The next screen will take the provider through an identity proofing process powered by Experian. The provider will be asked a series of questions related to their personal credit history. The provider must answer ALL questions correctly in order to successfully complete the identity proofing process. Examples of the types of questions you may be asked can be seen in the screenshot above.
This screen will time out after about 10 minutes of inactivity. If you are looking up an answer to a question, please click the screen or scroll to show activity so that your session does not time out. If your session times out or you incorrectly answer one of the questions three times in a row, you will be required to wait 24 hours before trying again. You can use the link in the original email to attempt the identity proofing process after the 24 hours has passed.
Create Your Passphrase and Register Tokens
Create a Passphrase and Security Question
The next screen will ask the provider to create a Passphrase and Security Question. This passphrase will be used every time you send a controlled substance prescription electronically.
In addition, the provider will need to create a security question and corresponding answer for the account. If the provider ever forgets the passphrase, it can be reset in the Prescriber Dashboard by using the security question.
After entering a passphrase and security question and answer, click Continue to proceed.
A screen will be presented to confirm that your passphrase has been successfully created. Click Continue to proceed.
Register Your Hard and Soft Tokens
Next, the provider will need to register their hard and soft tokens. If you have not yet received your hard token, you can register the soft token at this time and then return to the Prescriber Dashboard at a later date to add the hard token device.
To register a token, enter a name for the token, along with the Credential ID and OTP PIN that is provided on the token device. Click Save to register your token or click Save and Add to register the first token and add a second token.
A screen will be presented to show that the token was successfully registered.
If you need to register a second token device at a later date, please visit the EPCS Gold Prescriber Dashboard. Sign in using your NPI and Passphrase to register the new token device.
Best Practices for Validating your Token, Setting a Passphrase, and Selecting a Security Question
- The token serial number will need to be inserted in all caps.
- Be sure not to leave any unwanted spaces before, within, or after the security question answer; it is case and character sensitive.
- Prescribers should take time to remember the Passphrase and the answer to the security question.
Complete the EPCS Registration Process
Receive Letter from Experian by Snail Mail
After registering your token devices and successfully confirming your identity, you will be sent a letter through FedEx from Experian. You should receive the letter within 2-3 business days.
The letter will include an IDP confirmation code for the identity verification session that you have just completed. When you receive the letter, you should log in to the EPCS Gold Prescriber Dashboard to complete registration. Log in at https://ui.epcsdrfirst.com/pob/.
Sign in to EPCS Gold
Once you receive the letter from Experian, sign back in to the EPCS Gold Prescriber Dashboard. Using the Sign In section, enter your NPI, Passphrase, and OTP PIN (the six digit security code from your registered soft or hard token device), and click Sign In.
Enter Your Transaction ID from Experian Letter
Locate the transaction ID on the letter you received from Experian and enter it to verify your transaction ID. Press Continue to proceed.
EPCS Gold Prescriber Dashboard
After confirming your transaction ID, you will be taken to the EPCS Gold Prescriber Dashboard. At this time, your EPCS license is still inactive. Follow the steps below to activate the license.
Ensure CloudSync is Installed and Running on your Server
If you haven't already done so, you must manually download and install the new SOAPware CloudSync utility on your server in order for the required EPCS audit reports to be created and saved. Click on the following link to access the download, and for instructions on installing CloudSync: Installing SOAPware CloudSync.
If you have already installed CloudSync, check the program to ensure the utility is running. For instructions on restarting CloudSync, please see: Stopping and/or Restarting CloudSync.
Second Person to Activate EPCS Gold and Validate Prescriber
For this step of the activation process, the provider will need assistance from another staff member in the clinic (Office Manager, etc.). The staff member should log in to SOAPware and go to Tools > EPCS > Activate Physicians.
The Logical Access Control window will open for the staff member. Follow the steps below to authorize the prescriber:
- Locate the provider name that you wish to activate.
- Change the status from Inactive to Active.
- Enter the provider's NPI number and click Validate.
Questions on the EPCS Onboarding or Identity Proofing Process
If you have any questions or need assistance while going through the EPCS onboarding or identity proofing process, please submit a ticket by going to www.soapware.com/ticket.
Set Up SOAPware to Default to EPCS
Validate Provider Manager Data
In order to complete the registration process, the provider must confirm all data within Provider Manager is correct, including the provider's name, address, contact information, and physician numbers. A new field has been added for providers who utilize a NADEAN number (Narcotics Addiction DEA Number). Enter the NADEAN number into the associated box and then click the Update button to save your changes.
Set Up Rx Transmission
Each provider who has a license to use EPCS will need to set their default Rx Transmission options for scheduled medications. The licensed provider should log in to SOAPware and click on Tools > Options, then follow the steps below to set the Rx Transmission options:
- Select Structured Rx.
- Select the Rx Transmission tab.
- Using the drop-down menus, select eRx as the default option for Schedule II - V medications.
- Click Close to save your changes.
- Log out and back in to SOAPware to save your changes.
Now You're Ready to Use EPCS!
Authorization is now complete and the prescriber is ready to begin using EPCS! It may take 24-72 hours for all pharmacies to perform their directory download that allows them to see that the prescriber is authorized to submit controlled substances electronically.
In compliance with DEA Interim Final Rule (IFR) Title 21 CFR Part 1311 Requirement for Electronic Orders and Prescriptions, all clinicians issuing electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) must review SOAPware’s audit/certification report prior to using the EPCS feature. In addition to the audit/certification report, the full text of Title 21 CFR Part 1311 is available online at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1311/subpart_c100.htm.