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Data Snapshot: Medication-Assisted Treatment From Providers Waivered at the Highest Patient-Limit Level

Despite the well-documented effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to address opioid use disorder, individuals often encounter barriers to accessing this type of treatment. As followup to recent OIG work on access to MAT through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Buprenorphine Waiver Program, we will examine the number of patients who received MAT from providers waivered at the highest patient-limit level (i.e., 275 patients). In our prior report, we found that although only 8 percent of waivered providers were at the 275-limit level, this group could collectively treat 1 million patients at any one time. However, recent studies by SAMHSA and others found that waivered providers are not prescribing at or near their patient-limit capacity. SAMHSA requires that 275-limit waivered providers annually report the number of patients they are treating. Utilizing these data, this snapshot will report how many patients are receiving MAT services from 275-limit waivered providers. We will also report how many of these providers are located in high-need counties and how many are treating at or near their capacity limit. We will also determine how many 275-limit waivered providers have reported their patient data to SAMHSA, as required.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
June 2020 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Data Snapshot: Medication-Assisted Treatment From Providers Waivered at the Highest Patient-Limit Level Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-BL-20-00260 2021