The Department of Health and Human Services today released new practice guidelines for administering buprenorphine, which exempt from certain training and certification requirements eligible physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives who wish to treat up to 30 patients at any time. The clinicians must be licensed under state law and possess a federal waiver to practice this form of medication-assisted treatment and a valid Drug Enforcement Administration registration. Some states also require a DEA-registered physician to supervise or collaborate with the practitioner. Eligible clinicians who wish to treat more patients may seek a waiver under the established protocols.
“These new guidelines are an important step forward in reducing barriers to treatment and will ultimately help more people find recovery,” said Tom Coderre, acting assistant secretary for mental health and substance use at HHS.