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Colorado's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) is a secure database that provides objective information about patients’ controlled substance prescription records to assist Colorado healthcare providers in offering appropriate treatment to their patients. The PDMP was enacted into law in 2005, in part, to reduce prescription drug abuse. The PDMP program was renewed for an additional ten years during the 2011 legislative session.

The PDMP database provides dentists with vital information to make informed decisions about prescribing a controlled substance. Registering to use the PDMP tool is free, and required for all dentists who posess an active DEA registration . You can register at using your dental license number and other key pieces of identifying information. To A tutorial video on the registration process can be viewed by clicking here. For questions about the PDMP registration process, you may contact the PDMP helpdesk at 1-855-263-6403.

Once you have registered and logged into the system, you can view a patient’s controlled substance prescription history.

Look for more information about the PDMP program in the Summer 2011 CDA Journal.

Compliance: New Prescribing Notification Requirements

Starting July 1, 2011, healthcare professionals who prescribe controlled substances, including dentists, must notify any patient who gets a prescription for a controlled substance that the patient’s identifying information will be entered into the PDMP database. It’s important to note that the patient notification requirement exists regardless of whether or not you, as a prescriber, choose to use the PDMP database.

Your options to comply with the new notification requirements are broad. A few of the ways you can comply include:

  • verbally notifying patients of the database when you prescribe a controlled substance,
  • asking patients to sign a consent form (like HIPAA) that informs them of the database during the registration/check-in process at your office, or
  • stamping or printing a disclaimer on the prescription pad about the PDMP database.

The CDA is offering sample forms and labels with notification language to members. {access public}Login to download helpful compliance tools below.{/access}{access !public}Download helpful compliance tools below.

Sample Verbal Script for Notifying Patients

Sample Consent Form for Patients
Instructions for Dental Offices: Click the link above and save a copy of the sample form to your computer. You may make changes to the form if you wish. Print copies of this form and ask patients to sign it when filling out paperwork (health history, HIPAA disclaimer, etc.) at the beginning of their appointment. Keep a copy of the signed form with the patient’s records.

Sample Label to Affix to Prescriptions
Instructions for Dental Offices: Purchase Avery 5160 labels at any office supply company. Print copies of this sample document onto the Avery label template. Affix the labels to the back of all controlled substance prescriptions.

Common Provider Questions About PDMP Notification

  • Do I have to use this notification with every patient?
    No. You only need to notify a patient if you are prescribing him/her a controlled substance.
  • Does the patient need to consent to inclusion in the database in order to receive a prescription?
    Your only obligation is to inform the patient that the database exists and may be accessed by authorized individuals. It is smart to document this conversation in the patient chart or record. You do not need the patient’s consent in order to prescribe. It is the patient’s choice whether to fill the prescription once they are aware of the database. If a patient objects to inclusion in the database, you can offer to prescribe a non-controlled drug.
  • What if the patient refuses to sign the notification form?
    If this patient refuses to sign the notification form, just write “patient refused to sign” on the form and keep the form with the patient’s records as evidence of notification. Your only obligation as a prescriber is to notify the patient about the PDMP. You are not required to get their consent or agreement.
  • Do I have to report any data on my prescribing?
    You are not required to submit any data to the database. All reporting is done by the dispensing pharmacy.
  • Can I view the PDMP data to help me with prescribing decisions?
    The PDMP is a free resource for prescribers. Visit to register.

Common Patient Questions About PDMP Notification

  • Can I opt-out of being included in the database?
    If you fill a prescription for a controlled substance at a pharmacy, state law requires that your information be reported by that pharmacy. If you do not want your information in the database, I can prescribe a different (non-narcotic) drug for you. That is the only way to avoid being included in the database.
  • What if I don’t want you to report my information?
    Our office does not report any information. The pharmacy is responsible for reporting information to the database.
  • Can I see my current records in the database?
    Copies of individual prescription drug records stored in the database can be obtained through DORA (the Colorado state Department of Regulatory Agencies) by calling 303-894-5957 or by visiting
  • Can my doctor/dentist view all my prescription records in this database?
    No. The database contains only records related to controlled substances (narcotic drugs like painkillers, muscle relaxants and steroids). It does not contain records about other prescription drugs like antibiotics, antidepressants or any other category of prescription medication.
  • I am concerned about the security of my information.
    The state regulates this database and has strict security controls. Only authorized personnel can access the data and only for approved purposes. This database has actually been in operation for years (since 2005). However, in renewing the program the state decided that it was best that patients be informed of its existence. Though 43 states currently have PDMP programs, Colorado is the only one that has taken a stand for patient notification.



City Sales Tax Requirements

City of Centennial Sales Tax Requirements

Centennial is unique in that it has elected to perform its own licensing and collect its own sales tax. The state collects tax for most cities and then distributes receipts. With revenues down, some municipalities are stepping up enforcement to help balance their budgets.

Accordingly, many Centennial dentists have received a letter from the city asserting that dentists must collect sales tax from patients on certain cosmetic products, including teeth whitening kits. However, Centennial’s tax code exempts “drugs or materials furnished by a doctor as part of professional services provided to a patient” from sales tax requirements. Based on this exemption, the CDA acted on dentists’ behalf and sent a letter to the city questioning their interpretation of the tax code.

In March 2010, the city of Centennial responded to the CDA's inquiry stating that city sales tax must be charged on whitening products sent home with the patient. The city of Centennial sent copies of its response, addressed to the attorney for the Colorado Dental Association (CDA), to many Centennial dentists.

While we continue to disagree with Centennial’s interpretation of the tax ordinance, it is apparent that the city is determined to collect sales tax on these products. The CDA will consider supporting our members practicing in Centennial if they choose to press the legality of the interpretation of the city’s sales tax ordinance. However, it is important to note that even if a challenge to the city of Centennial’s interpretation the viewpoint of the CDA was successful, the city of Centennial could simply change the wording of the ordinance to circumvent the ruling.

Thus, at this point, dentists that practice within the Centennial city limits and sell consumer products should apply for a sales tax license with the city. When purchasing whitening and other consumer products from a vendor, dentists should not pay the city sales tax, claiming exemption since this will be paid by the patient (the dentist should continue to let the vendor collect state sales tax) . City sales tax should be collected from the patient and remitted to the city. Prescription drugs and devices continue to be exempt from city and state sales tax.

Information on Sales Tax and Business Licenses

Pursuant to an ordinance passed on Oct. 2008, each business that has a physical business location in the city of Centennial must have a license. A business may have either a business license or a sales tax license depending on its sales activities. A business is not required to obtain both licenses; however, a separate license must be maintained for each business location in the city of Centennial.

Business licenses apply to service-only businesses such as “architectural firms, attorneys, banks, churches, counselors, accountants, daycare providers, dentists, engineering firms, political party offices, property managers, physicians, realtors, and seamstresses.” This license applies only to businesses that do not already have a sales tax license. If you already have a sales tax license, the business license is not required.

Retail sales tax licenses apply to any business that sells taxable products and/or services. Sales of certain materials like specialty or electric toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwashes, books, videos or other consumer products may be subject to this license and sales tax. Prescription drugs and “sales of drugs or materials when furnished by a doctor as part of professional services provided to a patient” are exempt from sales tax and do not alone require a sales tax license. We sought clarification from the city of Centennial on the exact parameters of the “drugs and materials” exemption, specifically in regard to teeth whitening products. They continue to assert consumer sales tax must be charged on whitening products.

Other compliance requirements may apply to those who obtain a sales tax license, which include:

  • Maintaining and renewing the license,
  • Keeping all records related to tax liability for at least 36 months,
  • Collecting sales tax on taxable items,
  • Filing sales tax returns and remitting sales tax collected,
  • Filing up to monthly reports, regardless of whether retails sales are made for the reporting period, and
  • Periodic audits by the city.

If you already have a sales tax license, you should complete and file an annual report with the city, even if you have no retail sales to report (in that case, simply mark “0” in the applicable section of the return). Items such as electric toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwashes should be reported and the sales tax paid. If a dentist sells prescription drugs or other exempt products, the dentist should list the sale of these products separately, stating that the dentist believes these products to be exempt, pursuant to Section 4-1-260(v) of Centennial Sales Tax Ordinance 2008-O-29. This approach will preserve the dentist’s right to object to paying the sales tax and avoids any potential penalty for failure to file the report or disclose sales.

Click here to view a copy of the license application.

The city’s fee is $25 for both types of licenses.

Other Resources

State Law and Policy

The item of interest in the state FYI publication is the “exemptions” to sales tax in the C.R.S. - specifically the 7th bullet point on page 1: “all sales of drugs and materials when furnished to a patient by a doctor as part of professional services.” On page 3 (last paragraph of the first column under “Doctors”), this phrase is further defined. The City of Centennial includes this verbiage in the Sales Tax Ordinance; however, does not allow it as an exemption from sales tax in actuality.

City Law and Policy

See page 41 of the Ordinance, Section 4-1-260(v) concerning sale of drugs. This section is drafted in accordance with the C.R.S. sales tax exemptions for drugs and materials furnished to a patient by a doctor.

The City of Centennial requires all businesses operating within the city file for a Business or Sales Tax License.

CDA Correspondence with Centennial

CDA Correspondence with Dentist Members

Any additional questions concerning these requirements should be directed to Pam Brockhaus at 303-996-2843, 800-343-3010 ext. 103 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Note: This page summarizes some highlights of the Centennial Tax Code but is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all requirements. Please review the rule directly and consult with your legal or tax counsel to ensure compliance with all requirements, as specific to your practice.


Practice Resources

Practice Resources

{access public}This page contains files and links to aid dentists in their practices. This information is restricted to members only. Please log in using the login box at the top right corner of your screen to view content.{/access} {access !public}This page contains files and links to aid you in your practice. You can view a list of available resources below. The information is organized by topic.

The CDA is in the process of adding links to all listed materials. If you need an item that is not yet linked, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

General CDA

County Office
Endorsed Products and Services

Fact Sheets

Best Practices

ADA Best Practices for Amalgam Waste
Amalgam Separators
Amalgam Separators Abstract


ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Conduct
Ethical Advertising

Patient Education & Clinical

Sign Language Interpreter Agencies
Colorado Fluoride Facts
Fluoridation - Congressional Support
Fluoride Content in Bottled Water
Sour Candy

Order/Contribution Forms

See also, CDA Online Store

Sample Patient Forms

Authorization to Release Dental Information
Authorization to Release Medical Information
Biophosphonates Consent for Treatment
Health History Information and Form
HIPAA Privacy
HIPAA Privacy (Spanish forms)
X-ray Refusal Consent Forms

See also, DPTLC Sample Consent Forms


Direct Reimbursement (DR)
Insurance Complaint Form
Insurance FAQs
Insurance Refund Information
Insurance Refund Sample Letter
NPI Numbers and Information




Red Flags

Red Flags Rule Compliance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued regulations requiring any business that may provide credit to customers to take certain steps to guard against identity theft. This “Red Flags Rule” extends to health care providers, including dentists. The deadline to comply with this Rule has been extended multiple times and is now November 1, 2009.

As an EXCLUSIVE MEMBER BENEFIT, the American Dental Association (ADA) has created a guide for compliance with the new Red Flags Rule. This guide is a FREE benefit ONLY for members. The ADA has estimated that it would cost the average non-member dental office $2,000 or more become compliant – making this guide a huge savings to members.

***Please beware, there are several vendors and seminar providers (charging hundreds, even thousands, of dollars) to help you with compliance. Whether you purchase these products and services is your choice, however, it is not necessary to do so.***

Download the Guide Here:

The Colorado Dental Association has e-mailed this information to CDA members who have given us their e-mail addresses for this purpose. If you did not receive an e-mail from the CDA, we strongly encourage you to provide us with your e-mail address for future correspondence – we promise to never sell your address or use it for anything but important membership information or exclusive member benefit notices.

If you have any specific questions regarding the Red Flags Rule, please contact Jennifer Goodrum at 303-996-2847, 800-343-3010 ext. 107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thank you!


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