It has come to our attention a little known provision of the federal omnibus bill approved in the waning hours of 2022 included a requirement that could impact your practice if not properly managed.

The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which aims to improve access to medications and expand training for healthcare professionals on prescribing controlled substances, has been included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. The MATE Act seeks to address the issue of medication shortages and increase the number of healthcare providers who are trained to prescribe opioids and other controlled substances. The legislation would also establish new requirements for healthcare providers to complete continuing education on pain management and addiction treatment. The inclusion of the MATE Act in the appropriations bill marks an important step in addressing the opioid epidemic and improving access to essential medications for patients.

ADA News January 2023

The new law apparently requires dentists to complete eight hours of training before receiving or renewing a Drug Enforcement Administration registration.

According to the ADA, it successfully advocated for Congress to amend certain provisions of the MATE Act to comport with ADA policy. This included prompting lawmakers to remove a requirement from the original bill that meant dentists would have to complete three hours of specialized training to safely prescribe buprenorphine, which is outside the scope of dental practice.

According to the ADA, the MATE Act was also amended to allow:

• Dentists to apply continuing education credits accepted for state licensure towards their federally required training, as well as courses taken through ADA CERP providers.
• New dentists who are less than five years out of dental school to use their dental school courses towards the federally required training.

These provisions notwithstanding it appears the one time requirement for 8 hours of continuing education to renew a practitioner’s DEA permit will stand. Information regarding this requirement is still developing. In the meantime, we suggest licensees contact their local and state dental societies and/or licensing boards for further information or guidance.

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