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Early Changes in Waivered Clinicians and Utilization of Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder After Implementation of the 2021 HHS Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines

Publication Date
Mir M. Ali, Timothy Creedon, Laura Jacobus-Kantor, Tisamarie B. Sherry, Rebecca L. Haffajee, Robert Baillieu, Suparna Das, Neeraj Gandotra, Patti Juliana, Kasimu Muhetaer, Yngvild Olsen, Karran Phillips, Hamid Ferdosi, Christopher Jones, Wilson Compton, Emily Einstein, Grace Chai, Jana Mcaninch, Marta Sokolowska, Meriam Mikre, Elisabeth Kato, Anita Thomas, Thomas Hassett

In April 2021 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued revised Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder (Practice Guideline). The Practice Guideline removed two longstanding requirements for obtaining a Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000 waiver to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD): the requirement for specific training, and the need for otherwise eligible clinicians to certify their ability to provide or refer for counseling or other ancillary services. This research report examines changes in clinician waiver uptake and the number of unique patients receiving buprenorphine for OUD from retail pharmacies, in the early months after the Practice Guideline took effect (from June to December 2021).

This report is the result of collaboration between several HHS agencies and was prepared by the HHS/ASPE Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy (BHDAP). Additional research in this area is available at the ASPE Behavioral Health page, the COVID-19 page, the Prescription Drugs & Other Medical Products page, and Evaluation page.

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