RCPA SUD Treatment Services Policy Director Jason Snyder will testify on Thursday, March 9, at the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s hearing, “New Developments in the Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Crisis in Rural Pennsylvania.”
Snyder will testify on a panel that will examine SUD treatment workforce and regulation. Justin Wolford, Director of Outpatient Services at RCPA member CenClear, also will testify on the panel. Wolford will focus on the workforce crisis, while Snyder will discuss regulations that exacerbate the crisis and should be reformed.
The hearing will be comprised of four total panels:
The hearing begins at 9:00 am and will take place in the Main Capitol Building, Room 8E-B, in Harrisburg. It also will be livestreamed online.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is proposing to roll back flexibilities implemented during the public health emergency (PHE) in tele-prescribing buprenorphine. The proposed new regulation would mandate an initial in-person visit with a prescriber in order for a patient to receive more than a 30-day buprenorphine prescription. Since 2020, those with opioid use disorder have been able to receive prescriptions for buprenorphine, including the initial prescription, following a tele-appointment.
Patients who began buprenorphine treatment during the PHE under the expanded flexibilities would have a 180-day grace period but would then need to see a prescriber in person before continuing treatment under the DEA’s proposed rule.
The proposed rule and instructions for providing comments are available online. The public comment period closes March 31, 2023.
With the passage and signing into law of a federal omnibus appropriations bill last week, the requirement that healthcare providers possess a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) has been eliminated. The move is intended to expand access to addiction treatment.
Named for the “x” that accompanies a narcotics prescribing license, DEA X-waivers have been required to prescribe buprenorphine, a Schedule III drug, as treatment for OUD. Applying for an X-waiver required providers to undergo additional training. The X‑waiver requirement had also limited the number of patients providers can treat. It was largely seen as a barrier preventing many practitioners from treating addiction.
Read the White House’s statement on elimination of the X-waiver.