Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can begin the 24 hours of required training to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, the Department of Health and Human Services announced this week. HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration told AHA that NPs and PAs may start by taking the eight hour DATA-waiver course for treatment of opioid use disorder designed by national experts that physicians currently take. The course is offered for free by SAMHSA through the Providers’ Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment. For the additional 16 hours, SAMHSA will offer the training for free through the PCSS-MAT once it has been developed in 2017. Several other medical society organizations are also expected to develop training modules. NPs and PAs who complete the 24 hours of training can apply for a waiver beginning in early 2017 to prescribe buprenorphine for up to 30 patients. Previously, only physicians could prescribe the treatment. HHS said it plans to initiate rulemaking that would allow NPs and PAs who have prescribed at the 30-patient limit for one year to apply for a waiver to prescribe for up to 100 patients. More on the training and waiver application will be available soon at