AOR STATEMENT: HHS Announcement to Raise Cap on Number of Patients Physicians Can Treat Using Evidence-Based Buprenorphine
HHS action is a modest step in the right direction. However, this solution is still not sufficient to address the scope of the epidemic and Congress still needs to take additional actions.
“Today’s HHS announcement to raise the caps on the number of patients that physicians can treat with the opioid recovery medication buprenorphine from 100 to 275 is a modest step in the right direction. However, this solution is still not sufficient to address the scope of the epidemic and Congress still needs to take additional actions.
With more than 2 million people addicted to opioids, doctors need to be able to treat all of them – meaning these caps need to be removed entirely. Anything less would hand tie physicians from practicing medicine according to the clinical guidelines, which includes buprenorphine. If the political realities of the day make that impossible, raising the cap to 500, as the TREAT Act proposed, is a much more appropriate response.
Additionally, physician assistants and nurse practitioners need to be able to treat opioid addiction with recovery medication as well, after receiving appropriate training. The CARA conference committee has a tremendous responsibility to the American people this week to take meaningful action that is appropriately funded to ensure all those who are living with the disease of opioid addiction can receive the most effective treatment, and that’s treatment with recovery medications.”