HHS Takes Additional Steps To Expand Access to Opioid Treatment
HHS is acting to address the U.S. opioid epidemic by further expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders.
Administered by SAMHSA, today’s announcement enables nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to immediately begin taking the 24 hours of required training to prescribe the opioid use disorder treatment, buprenorphine.
NPs and PAs who complete the required training and seek to prescribe buprenorphine for up to 30 patients will be able to apply to do so beginning in early 2017. Previously, only physicians could prescribe buprenorphine. Once NPs and PAs receive their waiver, they can begin prescribing buprenorphine immediately.
SAMHSA is working quickly with training providers to help them adapt curricula and obtain continuing education credits for this important training. Updates on training information and the waiver application will be available soon onSAMHSA’s medication-assisted treatment webpage. SAMHSA's MATx mobile app also provides guidance for practitioners to become certified to prescribe buprenorphine. Download MATx today.