The Health Commerce System Review & Steps to Create an HCS Account

The Health Commerce System (HCS) is used by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to communicate important and time-sensitive information to health care providers.

The Health Commerce System

Regulations require home care providers to keep HCS information up-to-date to optimize communications in emergencies and enable agencies to perform mandated functions.

More Information to Note

DOH’s Division of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) issued a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) last year reminding licensed home care services agencies (LHCSAs), certified home health agencies (CHHAs), long term home health care programs (LTHHCPs) and hospices of the following requirements: 

  • Agencies are required to establish and maintain current HCS accounts at each licensed site; the DAL also lists roles that are required to be populated for home care agencies, and reiterates the importance of keeping these roles updated with current contact information. 
  • Agencies should access the HCS at least once every 24 hours and more frequently during an emergency to get news, announcements, alerts, and other important Department communications.
  • Agency contact information on the HCS Communications Directory must be kept current and updated, reflecting any changes in general information and staff role changes as soon as they occur. This information should be reviewed, at minimum, on a monthly basis. 
  • Agencies must have an appropriate and applicable policy and procedure regarding the HCS in place and reviewed at least annually.

The Department continuously monitors the HCS to ensure compliance, including role assignments. Agencies that do not meet all of the requirements set forth in the DAL are subject to Statements of Deficiencies.

How to Get a Health Commerce System (HCS) Account

  • Individual HCS accounts are required for accessing NYSIIS. All NYSIIS users will need to have their own personal active HCS account.
  • HCS accounts cannot be shared. Without an HCS account, users will not be able to access the NYSIIS application in the training environment or in their office.
  • If no one in the practice has an HCS account, a prescribing medical professional (i.e., a Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner) must obtain the initial account.
  • A prescribing medical professional within a practice can request an HCS account at the following Department of Health web site: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pub/top.html
  • Any prescribing medical professional who obtains an HCS account is automatically given “Director” and “HCS Coordinator” roles.
    • The HCS Coordinator role is authorized to obtain additional accounts for both medical and non-medical.
    • To request additional accounts for other office staff, log in to the Health Commerce System at: https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/ (See the following instructions below).

If you are not sure your worksite has previously applied for access to the HCS, or who your HCS Coordinator is, you can contact the Commerce Account Management Unit (CAMU) Help Desk at 1-866-529-1890 or [email protected].

Having Trouble Logging Into the Health Commerce System?

Due to application and data security requirements, HCS support for unsecured Internet browsers and operating systems will be discontinued.

This change will target older versions of Internet Explorer and the Windows XP operating system.  Windows XP came to an end on April 8, 2014 and for over 9 months, has not been updated.

The Health Commerce System Review

To upgrade your operating system please visit http://www.microsoft.com. Windows 10 users will need to install Microsoft-Internet-Explorer11 or Chrome as most HCS applications doesn’t support Microsoft Edge browser yet.

HCS currently supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome on Windows, and offers partial support for Mozilla Firefox. Download the latest version of these browsers from the following links:

ROPES: Registration for Official Prescriptions and E-Prescribing Systems

ROPES enable practitioners update their Official Prescription Program (OPP) registration, and register their approved application(s) for controlled substances prescription applications.

Practitioners who don’t issue controlled drug prescriptions don’t need approved EPCS software and won’t need registering their BNE e-prescription software. The practitioner must have his software application(s) registered with BNE certified EPCS  after completing:

  1. Implementation of the certified EPCS software application(s) into production;
  2. Identity proofing; and
  3. Receipt of the two-factor authentication credentials

For more questions, please consult your e-prescribing software vendor or review the DEA Interim Final Rule section 1311.100 at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

How to access ROPES and register for OPP and EPCS:

  1. Login to the Health Commerce System at https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/public/hcs_login.html
  2. Select “My Content” at the top of the page
  3. Scroll down and select “All Applications”
  4. Scroll over and select “R”
  5. Then, Scroll down and select ROPES
  6. Follow screen prompts to renew your OPP registration – confirm address information is correct
  7. Click button “Register EPCS System”
  8. Enter certified EPCS software information or select software from the dropdown menu
  9. Click “Yes” if you agree with the EPCS Attestation

For more information, please contact BNE by email at [email protected] or by phone at 866-811-7957, Option 1.

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Experiencing a Delay in Processing Your Health Commerce Account?

The Health Commerce System

The New York State Department of Health Has Issued the Following Statement:

“The updated Prescription Monitoring Program Registry is operational and has been available on-line since June 12, 2013. All users must access the PMP Registry through the Department of Health’s secure Health Commerce System (“HCS”). With the upcoming effective date of the I-STOP law requiring the use of the PMP Registry, a large late surge of practitioners are now submitting requests for HCS accounts. Although the Department of Health is working diligently to process all requests, this significant influx has resulted in a delay in processing accounts.

During this transition period, practitioners who are making a good faith effort to apply but are unable to establish HCS accounts, should continue to provide treatment to their patients in the same manner as they currently do, including the prescribing of controlled substances without accessing PMP Registry. We expect this transition period to last through October.”

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