On the heels of recommendations the Academy sent the DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration this month, those agencies have issued policy clarifications reflecting the AAFP’s advocacy.

In a win for the AAFP’s advocacy, a March 27 DEA letter to registrants clarifies that, as the Academy recommended to the agency, physicians prescribing controlled substances can satisfy the Medication Access and Training Expansion Act’s training requirement via attestation. This likely means physicians will not need to complete detailed paperwork.

On March 24, SAMHSA updated its “Recommendations for Curricular Elements in Substance Use Disorders Training” with suggestions for core components of new MATE Act training specifically noting that all previous X-waiver training hours could be counted toward the new training requirement, as well as other past SUD-related trainings. The AAFP is not listed as a qualifying accreditation organization in this guidance, but some past and future AAFP-provided trainings will count toward this training requirement. The AAFP is seeking additional details from the agencies.

The new training requirement takes effect June 27, but physicians have until their DEA license renewal date to complete any additional trainings.

Ahead of additional policy updates affecting family physicians who prescribe controlled substances, the Academy continues to push for careful implementation that avoids disrupting patient care or creating unnecessary administrative tasks for physicians.

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