The federal government has issued new reporting requirements to ensure providers comply with a July 2016 regulation that increased the maximum number of opioid use disorder patients a provider may treat using buprenorphine.

The July final rule allowed providers to request approval by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to treat up to 275 patients, compared with a previous limit of 100. SAMHSA increased the per-provider limit to ensure patients have access to treatment.

The new reporting requirements will ensure providers who are approved to provide medication-assisted treatment to more patients comply with the July rule, including efforts to limit drug diversion. Providers approved for an increase in their patient limit now must annually report:

  • their annual caseload of patients by month;
  • the number of patients referred to and provided behavioral health services; and
  • features of their diversion control plan.

SAMHSA assumes providers will be able to pull reporting data directly from electronic or paper health records. Failure to submit reports could result in the withdrawal of SAMHSA’s approval of the request for an increased patient limit.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.