House Bill Would Increase Provider Education for MAT

The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R. 4974) would standardize substance use disorder (SUD) training for providers that prescribe Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) scheduled medications, such as those used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The bipartisan bill, introduced in the House last week, would help to increase access to high-quality care for individuals living with addiction. The National Council thanks Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Buddy Carter (R-GA), David Trone (D-MD), Harold Rogers (R-KY), and Ann Kuster (D-NH) for their leadership on this issue.

The MATE Act includes provisions to strengthen prescriber training, including the following:

  • Create a one-time requirement for all DEA licensed scheduled medication prescribers to complete training on treating and managing patients with opioid and other SUDs, unless the prescriber is otherwise qualified.
  • Allow accredited medical schools and residency programs, physician assistant schools, and schools of advanced practice nursing to fulfill the training requirement through comprehensive curriculum that meets the standards laid out in statute, without having to coordinate the development of their education with an outside medical society or state licensing body.
  • Normalize addiction medicine education across certain professional schools and phase out the need for these future practitioners to take a separate, federally mandated addiction course.
  • Satisfy the DATA 2000 X-waiver training requirement to prescribe addiction medications as long as a separate DATA 2000 X-waiver is required by law.

The National Council joined our colleagues in addiction advocacy organizations in commending the lead sponsors of the bill for their efforts to address a critical need for training in addiction medicine. “We need to ensure people with addictions get good effective care when and where they need it,” said Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council. “The lack of health care providers trained on evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment in the wake of a national crisis is greatly concerning. The recently introduced Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act is legislation that would alleviate this problem by ensuring prescribers of controlled substances get the education around evidence-based prevention and treatment they need to effectively treat people with addictions.”

Guest Author

Shelley Starkey
Policy Associate