Bupe Patient Limits Increased in First Year

April 3, 2020

Buprenorphine Patient Limits Increased in First Year to 100 for Qualifying Practitioners

SAMHSA is reaching out to inform qualified practitioners who currently hold a DATA Waiver at the 30 patient limit that you are potentially eligible to treat up to 100 patients in the first year if you meet the criteria listed below. We encourage you to consider increasing your waiver limit so that you are prepared to expand your practice should the need arise.

Qualified practitioners include physicians, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs), and Certified Nurse-Midwifes (CNMs).

Qualifying practitioners must satisfy one of the following two conditions to treat 100 patients in their first year:

  1. The physician holds a board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Preventive Medicine or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  2. The practitioner provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in a “qualified practice setting.” A qualified practice setting is a practice setting that:
    • provides professional coverage for patient medical emergencies during hours when the practitioner’s practice is closed;
    • provides access to case-management services for patients including referral and follow-up services for programs that provide, or financially support, the provision of services such as medical, behavioral, social, housing, employment, educational, or other related services;
    • uses health information technology systems such as electronic health records;
    • is registered for their State prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) where operational and in accordance with Federal and State law; and
    • accepts third-party payment for costs in providing health services, including written billing, credit, and collection policies and procedures, or federal health benefits.

After one year at the 100-patient limit, qualifying practitioners who meet the above criteria can apply to increase their patient limit to 275. In addition, 42 CFR 8.655 defines circumstances in which qualifying practitioners may request a temporary increase to treat up to 275 patients to address emergency situations.

To apply for a patient waiver.