Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear signed HB 135 into law on March 28, 2020, making Kentucky the final state to grant PAs the authority to prescribe Schedule III-V controlled substances. Shortly after the signing, PAEA was contacted by Kelly Joy, MS, MPAS, an assistant professor at the Sullivan University PA program, to request assistance with hosting a live Medication-Assisted Training (MAT) event during the Kentucky Academy of PAs’ (KAPA) annual meeting. Eager to participate in this historic milestone for the Bluegrass State’s PAs, PAEA collaborated with Joy and KAPA Executive Director Adam Haley to offer eight hours of MAT training prior to the new law’s effective date of July 14, 2020.
For those unfamiliar with MAT training, it entails two components totaling 24 hours that PAs must complete to become eligible for the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine for office-based treatment of opioid use disorder. While Part 2 of the training is only available through 16-hours of online modules, Part 1 consists of an eight-hour training program worth eight AAPA Category 1 CME credits and is offered in a variety of different formats.
Conforming with current CDC guidance on social distancing, KAPA made the decision to host their MAT trainings virtually in June using the hybrid four-hour live/four-hour online format from the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS). In addition, PAEA’s MAT Project Director, John Lopes, DHSc, PA-C, worked closely with Haley and Joy to ensure the success of both events and served as the PCSS-approved MAT training instructor. As a result of their efforts, a total of 83 participants completed Part 1 of the MAT waiver training curriculum, bringing Kentucky one step closer to expanding the availability of this life-saving treatment for patients suffering from opioid use disorder.
Thanks to federal funding from SAMHSA and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, PAEA is now able to provide limited technical assistance to PA programs like Sullivan University that are interested in hosting their own MAT training events for practicing PAs in their communities, as well as PA students, faculty, and preceptors. If your PA program is interested in partnering with PAEA to host a virtual MAT training event, complete a Virtual MAT Training Request Form or contact PAEA at MATInitiative@PAEAonline.org.