HHS Releases New Buprenorphine Guidelines


In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released new buprenorphine practice guidelines, effective on April 28, 2021.

The Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder removes a longstanding training-related certification, which many cited as a barrier to treating more people with OUD.[1]

The Practice Guidelines create an exemption that allows physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives to treat up to 30 patients with OUD using buprenorphine without meeting Federal certification requirements related to training, counseling, and other ancillary services.

[1] Berk J. To Help Providers Fight the Opioid Epidemic, “X the X Waiver”. Health Affairs Blog. 2019 Mar 5. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190301.79453/full/. Accessed April 28, 2021.