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Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES)

We want to keep you informed about an important change in patient care that will help you keep your patients safe.

Starting October 2, 2018, a new California state mandate requires you, as a provider, to check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES, prior to prescribing, ordering, administering, or furnishing a Schedule II–IV controlled substance. This mandate will help to ensure appropriate use of controlled substances, such as opioids, and help to prevent patients from becoming dependent on these addictive medications.

These frequently asked questions will help you navigate the mandate: 

Q. What is required of me?

A. As a provider, you are required to run a patient activity report within 24 hours, or the previous business day, before prescribing, ordering, or administering a controlled substance. In addition, you must query the database at least once every four months if the controlled substance remains a part of your patient’s treatment plan.

Q. What happens if I do not comply?

A. If a provider fails to consult CURES, it is a violation of the law and could result in a citation or fine, or be a cause of accusation that leads to disciplinary action.

Q. Are there any exceptions to the mandate? 

A. Yes, there are a few exceptions. You are exempt from consulting the CURES database in any of the following circumstances: 

  1. While the patient is admitted to, or during an emergency transfer to, a licensed clinic, outpatient setting, health facility or county medical facility
  2. In the emergency department of a general acute hospital and the controlled substance does not exceed a non-refillable seven day supply
  3. As part of a patient’s treatment for a surgical procedure, and the controlled substance does not exceed a non-refillable five day supply when a surgical procedure is performed at a licensed clinic, outpatient setting, health facility, county medical facility or place of practice
  4. The patient is receiving hospice care

Q. Where can I get more information?

A. For more information, you can visit the California Medical Board’s website or CURES frequently asked questions.