October 13, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: CURES Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Patient Care
In the final days of the legislative session, the California Medical Association (CMA) worked to pass Assembly Bill 679 to extend by six months the registration deadline for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). All individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish or order controlled substances and a Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substance Registration Certificate (DEA Certificate) now have until July 1, 2016, to register to use CURES.
In 2013, Senate Bill 809 required the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to identify and implement a streamlined application and approval process for CURES registration. Currently, the registration process remains highly manual, requiring notarization of documents and reportedly six to eight weeks to process applications. A streamlined process was seen as essential to meeting the January 1, 2016, registration deadline. DOJ has not issued a definite date for when streamlined registration will be available, and so CMA pursued an extension. The bill was signed into law on October 11.
CMA will continue to monitor the situation, communicate with DOJ and update members on progress. CMA recommends that any physicians who need access to CURES not wait for streamlined registration and begin the process for registration as soon as possible.