March 14, 2019

PCSS has seen a huge increase in the number of MAT waiver courses in recent months, presenting numerous opportunities to address the opioid crisis. Only six months into the third year of the grant, already 416 waiver trainings have been conducted—slightly more than what was conducted for all of the second year of the grant.

With the average training hosting 20 participants, PCSS potentially train more than 14,000 clinicians this year alone—and this does not include those clinicians who take the course online. More than 12,800 clinicians have taken PCSS’s online course since May, 2017 when PCSS began offering online courses. When the grant was first funded, the number of trainings per year was projected to be 94.

Part of this dramatic increase is the result of funding to support training, awareness of training available, and legislation allowing nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) to prescribe buprenorphine, one of three medications prescribed to treat opioid use disorder. To apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine, physicians must take 8 hours of training and NPs and PAs must take 24 hours.

In November 2018, PCSS launched a free eight-hour online MAT waiver course. Since the release, more than 3,400 prescribers have registered to take the course and 1,500 have completed it and are eligible to apply for their waiver to prescribe buprenorphine.

PCSS offers several formats for taking the waiver course to meet the requirements for prescribing buprenorphine and understanding the other medications in treating addictions.

Once clinicians receive their waiver, it is often just the beginning of their education in treating OUD. Be sure to check out the array of evidence-based resources and clinical mentorship all available at no cost on pcssNOW.org to meet your needs in learning more about preventing and treating opioid use disorders. Be a part of the solution!