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CURES 2.0 - Frequently Asked Questions

June 20, 2019 2780

All controlled substance prescribers in California are required to register to access the state prescription drug monitoring program known as CURES 2.0 (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System).

Why am I required to register for CURES? What is its purpose?

State law requires California prescribers with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration to register to access the CURES 2.0 prescription drug-monitoring program. CURES 2.0 is a database of patient controlled substance history information and can assist prescribers in identifying situations that may be prescription drug abuse.

As of Oct. 2, 2018, prescribers with a DEA registration are required to check a patient’s history using the CURES database.

Exceptions to this requirement include a dentist who prescribes, orders, administers, or furnishes a controlled substance to a patient as part of the patient’s treatment for a surgical procedure and the quantity of the controlled substance does not

exceed a nonrefillable five-day supply of the controlled substance to be used in accordance with the directions for use. If the controlled substance remains part of the patient’s treatment, the dentist must subsequently check the CURES database prior to writing another prescription and every six months while the substance is part of the patient’s treatment. The CURES patient activity report must be pulled no earlier than 24 hours prior to prescribing.

What information do I need to register for CURES 2.0?

The CURES 2.0 online registration form requires you to provide a valid email address, dentist license number and DEA registration number. The Department of Justice (DOJ) will then confirm your identity and licenses with the dental board and DEA to complete the registration process.

What CURES functions may be delegated to staff?

Staff officially registered with CURES as a “delegate” to the “parent” prescriber or dispenser user may initiate a search for the patient activity report (PAR). Only the “parent” prescriber or dispenser user can view the actual report containing the patient’s history. Prescribers and dispensers can view, add and remove delegates from their own user profiles.

May the patient get a copy of the report?

You may provide a patient with a copy of the patient’s CURES patient activity report as long as no additional CURES data is provided. The report is medical information and is protected by the state Confidentiality of Medical Information Act and HIPAA. A copy of the report may be kept as part of the patient’s record.

What should I do if I am unable to check the database?

You must document in the patient’s record the reason why you did not consult the database. For example, there may be a technical issue. In that case you should try to determine what the technical issue is and, if it is something within your control, fix the issue. A failure to consult with the CURES database as required will be referred to the dental board for consideration of administrative sanctions.

Am I required to report what I prescribe, administer or dispense to CURES?

You are not required to report to CURES what you prescribe and administer to patients. However, prescribers must file reports of dispensed controlled substances through the state DOJ’s third-party vendor and not through CURES. Dispensing prescribers should refer to the CURES website.

Who monitors the use of the CURES database?

The state DOJ is tasked with auditing the database and its users. Dissemination or distribution of the controlled substance history information to anyone other than the registered user is prohibited. HIPAA and all confidentiality and disclosure provisions of state law cover the information contained in the database. All users must comply with state and federal health information privacy laws. Disciplinary, civil or criminal actions will be taken by the DOJ or the appropriate licensing agency for any misuse or inappropriate access of patient data.

What am I required to do if I move or change my name?

You must update account information no later than three days after the change’s effective date.

Should I use CURES to report the loss or theft of my prescription forms?

Yes. Within three days of the discovery and after you have filed a police report and have the report number, log into your CURES account to report the issue. For guidance reporting lost or stolen prescription forms, email the Security Prescription Printer Program at [email protected]

How can I get a report of the controlled substance prescriptions I have written?

The ability to review this information is useful when a dentist has misplaced or had a prescription pad stolen or when a dentist suspects someone is misusing their DEA number. A dentist can obtain a report that contains the patient’s name, address, date of birth and gender. The report will cover the time period of up to one year prior to the date the report is generated. Follow these steps to generate a report:

  1. Log in to CURES and choose the Patient Activity Report tab.
  2. Search Criteria – Choose the button for Patient List by DEA#s. Then select your DEA number. Note: A dentist with more than one DEA number can choose all DEA numbers. Then enter the date.
  3. Patient List – Once users submit the search, the matching patient lists are displayed.

After a list is created, a dentist can go back into the system and run separate CURES reports for each patient on the list if more information is needed. If a dentist discovers a prescription in the CURES report that they did not prescribe, the dentist should contact the pharmacy as well as the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Do I have to renew my CURES registration in the future?

Yes. All CURES 2.0 users are required to renew their accounts annually. Users receive renewal notifications on the renewal date and 30 days after the user’s one-year renewal date.

Where can I learn more about CURES 2.0?

The DOJ has training videos, FAQs and a user guide available at oag.ca.gov/CURES, which are particularly helpful for first- time CURES users. The user guide includes information on how staff members may assist with record searches, how to save searches, how to receive patient activity alerts, how to communicate with other prescribers and dispensers, and much more.