November 25, 2019
Area(s) of Interest: Quality of Care Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) recently submitted comments on draft regulations regarding access to and use of the information within California’s prescription drug monitoring dataset, known as CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System). These regulations would implement AB 1751, which established statutory authority for CURES to engage in interstate data sharing. The bill also required the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue regulations on health practitioner access to CURES and the conditions in which a law enforcement agency may obtain CURES information.
CMA has serious concerns regarding these regulations and has submitted comprehensive comments detailing those concerns. In issuing these proposed regulations, the DOJ fundamentally fails to consider CURES as a clinical decision-making tool that is intrinsically linked to the provision of patient care. In its comments, CMA urges the DOJ to consider the negative impact that these proposed regulations may have on patient care if it neglects to expressly prioritize CURES as a clinical tool as well a law enforcement tool.
CMA is also concerned that the regulations lack adequate privacy protections for the protected health information contained in CURES, and thus, sharing of such data across state lines could weaken the state’s ability to meet a patient’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
CMA will continue to work with DOJ and other stakeholders through the rulemaking process to ensure that these regulations do not have a negative impact on patient care and the physician-patient relationship.
For more details, see CMA's comments.