Update on NP Waiver Application for Medication Assisted Therapy
On November 16, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced its intention to accept applications for waivers from nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) seeking to prescribe medication assisted therapies (MAT), such as buprenorphine. NPs and PAs must complete 24 hours of education to qualify for the waiver.
According to the HHS press release, "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 at http://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment." The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is listed in the statute as one of the qualified providers of this education.
To address the urgent need for increased access to care for patients with opioid use disorders, AANP will collaborate with the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to provide the required 24 hours of education so that NPs can apply for the waiver as quickly as possible. SAMHSA has stated that NPs will be able to apply for the waiver beginning in early 2017. AANP will make announcements as soon as the 24 hours of education is available.
Additionally, on November 17, 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, published a report on substance misuse entitled: Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, which is a comprehensive review of the science of substance use, misuse and disorders. The report is available at https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov.
Stay tuned to AANP's newsletters and email communications for updates.