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PA Role in Opioid Treatment Programs

Wednesday, January 17, 2018  
Posted by: Louise Papka
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Guidelines that govern Opioid Treatment Programs are created by SAMHSA, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Opioid Treatment Programs are federally-regulated outpatient clinics where patients are treated with medication, most commonly methadone and suboxone, for opioid addiction. These have proven to be the gold standard of the treatment of opioid addiction.  

Federal rules that guide the function of these clinics were updated in 2015, and at that time there was emphasis on the language in the rules that specify "physician only" regarding admitting and treating patients.

Many PAs, have been working in these settings for years. SAMHSA has created a process by which Opioid treatment centers can obtain an exemption, allowing PAs (and NPs) to fully function in such settings.  

This exemption is not well known, thus AAPA has designed a resource for PAs and the Opioid Treatment Programs where they work, outlining the exemption process and providing answers to common questions.

The resource is titled" PA Role in Opioid Treatment Programs" , can be accessed on AAPA website through the following link