Controlled Substance Insight Alerts (CSIA) Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Controlled Substance Insight Alert (CSIA)?

Answer: A CSIA is a notification indicating that one of your patients has exceeded a set threshold and appears to be receiving multiple Schedule II – V prescriptions from multiple pharmacies and prescribers in a given time period. Minnesota Statute 152.126 subd. 6(j) gives the board the authority to establish criteria, in consultation with the advisory task force, for referring information about a patient to prescribers and dispensers who prescribed or dispensed the prescriptions in question if the criteria are met.

2. What do I do if I receive a CSIA?

Answer: You are not obligated to take any action in response to the alert. It is not our intent to suggest how you should conduct your practice. We realize that some patients have special needs or conditions that justify large quantities of controlled substances, such as severe or intractable pain. On the other hand, we are also aware that often times patients abusing controlled substances use various methods to obtain these medications, and you may not be aware of all of your patient’s activities. The intent of this alert is not to judge your prescribing or dispensing or your patient’s conduct. It is the belief that well informed practitioners can and will use their professional expertise to assist patients who may be addicted to or abusing controlled substances. We trust that providing you with this information will lead to optimum care for your patient.

3. What if the patient listed on the CSIA is not my patient?

Answer: Data submitted to the PMP comes directly from the dispensing pharmacy. If you did not prescribe for the individual in question, please contact the pharmacy that the prescription was dispensed from.

4. Do I need to perform a search for this patient when I receive the alert?

Answer: If you have received the CSIA via email, please login to your MN PMP account.  On MyDashboard the alert and patient report will be viewable under Patient Alerts (also found under Menu/ RxSearch/ Patient Alerts). If you received a letter by mail, please create a new MN PMP account and perform a search.  Quick Reference Guides can be found on the PMP Registration and Resources page. 

5. What if the prescription was dispensed incorrectly?

Answer:  Data submitted to the PMP comes directly from the dispensing pharmacy. If you suspect the prescription written was dispensed incorrectly, please contact the dispensing pharmacy.

6. What if I only have a personal email address to have on file with the PMP?

Answer: We recognize there may be instances where a provider only has a personal email address. When this is the case, there are a couple of measures to be taken to ensure a patient’s information is not compromised.

• Verify no one other than you has access to your personal email address (i.e. a spouse)
• Upon receiving a CSIA, delete the email and then empty the trash bin.
• FYI - CSIAs will be sent in a secure email thereby requiring the recipient to sign into the email prior to viewing the message.

7. What if I want to refer my patient to a substance abuse facility but don’t know which facility is right?

Answer:  If you decide that your patient will benefit from a referral to a treatment center and are unsure where turn, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) has an online source for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States to better assist you.( Additionally, there is a link to the Fast-Tracker - Link to Substance User Disorder Resources available on our website and within AWARxE. 

8. What if I want to inform the police regarding an individual after receiving a CSIA?

Answer:  CSIAs are not intended to get individuals in trouble. However, if you confirm fraudulent prescriptions were written or a patient is blatantly misusing the health care system, it is your decision on how you want to proceed. CSIAs cannot be shared with law enforcement. Law enforcement can request PMP records with a search warrant.

9. How do I unsubscribe from receiving CSIAs?

Answer:  Currently, there is no opting out for CSIAs. The Legislature allows the MN PMP to send these messages to prescribers and dispensers for their patients with questionable controlled substance activity. It is your choice on how you respond to the CSIA.

10. What if I keep receiving a CSIA for the same patient and I have already deemed their therapies are appropriate?

Answer:  If that is the case, please disregard the CSIA you received. You can contact the Controlled Substance Reporting Section Director to see if there is a way to cease sending the particular individual’s CSIA to you. (Contact Us)

11. What if I know the patient received a particular controlled substance but it is not on the PMP query?

Answer:  It is important to verify that you are running the query correctly.

1. Type in only the first three letters of the patient’s first name and the first three letters of the patient’s last name in the required name field.
2. In the DOB category select “within 2 years” (as opposed to “exact match.”)

The reason for these two specifications is to capture any likely name the pharmacy would have dispensed your patient’s medications under. For example, a file for “Jon Petersen, DOB 01/01/1950” could exist at one pharmacy and “Jonathan Peterson, DOB 01/01/1951” could exist at another pharmacy (because the insurance company has the wrong DOB for the patient). By searching with broadened criteria you are most likely to receive any derivations of your patient’s name that could exist in pharmacy systems. If you have done this and still aren’t finding the prescription in question, please call the pharmacy that you believe dispensed the medication or our help desk at 1-866-792-3149.

12. Can I run a query for a patient after I receive a CSIA since I am not considering dispensing or prescribing a controlled substance at the moment in time?

Answer: Yes, Minnesota Statute 152.126 subd. 6(i) gives the Board the authority to establish criteria, in consultation with the advisory task force, for referring information about a patient to prescribers and dispensers who prescribed or dispensed the prescriptions in question if the criteria are met. The statute does not state how the patient information should be given when the criteria are met. The PMP could send the actual prescription history record OR the PMP could give the prescriber and dispenser the name and DOB of the patient thereby allowing the prescriber or dispenser to run the query upon receiving a CSIA.


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MN Prescription Monitoring Program | 335 Randolph Avenue, Suite 230 |  Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 Voice: 651-201-2836 | Fax: 651-215-0948