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AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is disappointed to see that nurse practitioners (NPs) were not included in the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, recently announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which authorizes physicians to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to up to 30 patients without requiring a DATA waiver.
NPs have been critical to providing access to MAT since first obtaining the authorization to prescribe MAT in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016. The positive impact of this authorization is illustrated in a study published in Health Affairs, which found that NPs and PAs became the first waivered clinicians in 285 rural counties covering 5.7 million residents. Further, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) found that NPs obtaining their DATA waivers was particularly impactful in rural areas and for Medicaid beneficiaries.
AANP agrees that increasing access to MAT and removing barriers to substance use disorder treatment is essential. Including NPs in this new guidance will help achieve the goal of increasing access to treatment. We implore HHS to revise the new guidelines to include NPs, which will ensure that access to this vitally important care is preserved.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, visit to npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit aanp.org/COVID19.