President Biden approved the elimination of the DATA Waiver (X-Wavier) requirement and several other prescribing practice changes when he signed Dec. 29 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. Changes to prescribing practices include:
- No longer requiring the X-Waiver to treat patients with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.
- Removing any limits or caps on the number of patients a prescriber may treat with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.
- Only requiring a standard Drug Enforcement Administration registration number for all prescriptions for buprenorphine moving forward.
- Maintaining existing state laws or regulations that may be applicable.
- Introducing new training requirements for all prescribers that are expected to take effect June 21, 2023. These requirements have not yet been made clear, but do not impact the elimination of the X-Waiver.
Biden held an event at the White House Jan. 24 celebrating the policy change as a bipartisan success that will increase access to medication for opioid use disorder. The additional barriers the X-Waiver presented deterred providers from offering these services and a similar license was never required for prescribing other controlled substances like opioids.
Current laws and regulations in Michigan have not changed because of the changes to federal X-Waiver requirements, but the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is in the process of revising substance use disorder (SUD) rules that would no longer require a SUD program license for buprenorphine providers. The Michigan Public Health code currently states:
- A substance use disorder services program license is required if a prescriber is providing buprenorphine treatment to more than 100 individuals OR is providing methadone treatment.
- No license is needed if a prescriber is administering buprenorphine treatment to less than 100 individuals at a time.
Michigan’s current rules and regulations regarding prescribing buprenorphine are available on the LARA Substance Abuse Program Licensure webpage.
Members will be updated once the revised SUD rules are approved by the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Updated federal information will be available on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.
Members with questions should contact the MHA Keystone Center.