The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released materials in March 2023 related to the new Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act. The Act requires new or renewing DEA licensees, as of June 27, 2023, to have completed a total of at least eight hours of training on opioid or other substance use disorders and the appropriate treatment of pain.
The frequently asked questions below were developed to address potential inquiries related to the MATE Act and accredited continuing education (CE).
What is the MATE Act and what does it mean for accredited continuing education?
The DEA now requires that the nearly 2 million DEA licensees nationally demonstrate that they have completed 8 hours of relevant accredited education before they obtain a new license or renew their current licenses.
What is the goal for the new requirement?
"Given the urgency of the nation’s overdose crisis, the importance of practitioners receiving training in substance use disorders (SUD) cannot be overstated. Incorporating training on SUD into routine healthcare will enable practitioners to screen more widely for substance use disorders, treat pain appropriately, prevent substance misuse, and engage people in life-saving interventions.” -SAMHSA
How many hours of CME credit are required?
When must clinicians complete the requirement?
Beginning June 27, 2023, practitioners must have completed the one-time education requirement before applying for a license for the first time or to have their license renewed.
How often are DEA licenses renewed?
DEA licenses renew every three years.
What clinicians must fulfill the requirement?
All DEA-registered practitioners, with the exception of practitioners that are solely veterinarians.
What clinicians are deemed to have already satisfied this training requirement?
- Physicians who are board-certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry.
- Practitioners who have graduated from their professional school within 5 years of June 27, 2023 or 5 years of their license renewal following June 27, 2023, and completed a curriculum that included at least eight hours of coursework regarding SUD during that time.
- Practitioners who previously took training to meet the requirements of the DATA-2000 waiver to prescribe buprenorphine can count this training towards the 8-hour training requirements.
What content can be included?
SAMHSA recommends that content should be related to the prevention, recognition, and care of people with substance use disorders including those with concurrent pain and/or psychiatric and medical co-morbidities. Recommended core curricular training elements could include the categories of substance use disorders, effective treatment planning, and pain management and substance misuse.
What learning outcomes should be generated by the activities?
SAMHSA’s guidance embraces the current expectations of accredited CE providers related to learning and healthcare outcomes, specifying that educational activities should be designed for, and measure changes in, one or more of the following elements:
- Learner competence (knows how, can apply knowledge to a scenario)
- Learner performance (shows, can demonstrate a change in practice or processes)
- Patient health (does, can show how patients have responded to a change)
- Community or population health (does, can show how groups of people have responded)
Can one educational activity or combinations of multiple educational activities (e.g., courses, enduring materials, online activities, etc.) meet the requirement? Are there format restrictions?
The eight (8) required hours of training can be provided through different activity formats (e.g., live, online, enduring, etc.) and do not have to be completed in one session and can be satisfied through a combination of activities.
How can accredited providers help learners find their courses?
Accredited providers can register their upcoming and ongoing activities in ACCME's or Joint Accreditation's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS/JA-PARS) so that the activities appear on ACCME’s CME Passport.
Can completion of the MATE Act requirements help individual learners meet their state requirements for pain management, opioid use, palliative care, substance misuse, care, etc., and vice-versa?
Yes. The ACCME is working on adding functionality in PARS/JA-PARS that will allow activities to be tagged for content and listed in an activity search that meets both the MATE Act requirements and those of relevant medical state licensing boards.
What documentation should accredited providers deliver to the learner to demonstrate their fulfillment of the expectation?
If accredited providers choose to offer credit certificates upon completion of the activity, those certificates can specify that the activity met (or partially met) the requirements of the MATE Act. A simpler approach would be to report the learner's credit in PARS/JA-PARS so that it is stored in the online profile for that learner. Physicians who create profiles on CME Passport can see how much credit has been earned and save/send official transcripts to any regulatory body that needs them.
Will the DEA recognize CME Passport transcripts if the practitioner is audited?
Yes. Learner activities reported into PARS and displayed in CME Passport are available for review directly by state licensing authorities and are recognized as primary source-verified reports by DEA and other national regulatory bodies.
Who can I contact with questions?
- ACCME will continue to keep you informed as this guidance evolves. If you have questions for ACCME, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions for SAMHSA? Contact email@example.com.
- Questions for the DEA? Contact ODLP@dea.gov.