MAT Waiver Training Initiative

Illustration of a medical professional showing medication to another.

PAEA is partnering with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and a coalition of national professional organizations in a grant funded by SAMHSA called the State Targeted Response Technical Assistance Consortium (STR-TA). PAEA as a partner organization will focus on assisting PA programs with incorporating medication-assisted treatment (MAT) waiver training into their curricula. PAEA’s vision is that all PA program graduates and faculty will be waiver eligible.

Chart showing decline in heroin OD deaths thanks to MAT

What is MAT?

MAT is the use of medications to treat persons with opiate use disorder. The three medications approved by the FDA for MAT are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Funding for this grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will help us assist programs with incorporating MAT training into PA programs’ curricula.


  • PAs can apply for the DEA X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for MAT of opioid use disorder to more than 30 patients following completion of 24 hours of training by an approved organization.
  • MAT waiver training is provided by these DATA 2000 approved sponsors:
    • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
    • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
    • American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM)
    • American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  • The American Academy of Physician Assistants approved MAT waiver training for 24 hours of category I CME credits.

NPI as a Unique Identifier

Member programs will also be encouraged to sign up students for a unique identifier (e.g., National Provider Identification) to facilitate short- and long-term outcomes measurement of the MAT waiver training project. Download this document for more information. Watch the tutorial on the right.

MAT Initiative Information Session and Q&A

John Lopes, project director for PAEA’s MAT Waiver Training Initiative, leads this webinar to help programs overcome difficulties in implementing the training.

Find more information on training and implementing MAT training into PA programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Further Reading

Resources on Training

PCSS is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created in response to the opioid overdose crisis. Access hundreds of free training programs addressing the care of patients with opioid use disorder and chronic pain. You can ask an expert for assistance with a problematic patient issue or request a mentor to help you improve your care of patients with OUD and chronic pain. View and share these short videos with your patients.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) MAT page contains links to MAT waiver training and information about the approved medications for opiate, alcohol, and tobacco use disorders. Additional information about legislation, regulation, and guidelines is also available here.

Download a copy of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for opiate use disorder and other useful information, including waiver training for PAs and NPs.

The Opioid Response Network (ORN) is a network of organizations, including PAEA, that is led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. The network can provide technical assistance to states and territories with training and assistance from local experts across the country, focusing on evidence-based practices to meet locally identified needs.

Find information on this ASAM page on billing and coding for reimbursement for providing addiction treatment services. Download documents outlining standards and performance measures for addiction treatment.

MAT waiver training is available in a variety of formats. You can complete all 24-hours of training online. The initial 8-hour training may be provided in a face-to-face format or a hybrid 4-hour in-person session with the last four hours completed online. Check the websites of the DATA 2000 sponsors of waiver training for a course near you. Once you’ve completed the 8-hour physician training block, you can complete the 16-hours of additional CARA required online.

Register and begin training at this ASAM PA waiver training page.* If you’ve taken the initial 8-hour training in person at an educational event, you can access the remaining 16-hours of training here.

MAT waiver training from PCSS.* The training is divided into two parts so that if you’ve taken the first 8 hours face-to-face, you can complete the remaining required 16 hours here.

MAT waiver training from PCSS  via AOAAM.

American Psychiatric Association offers different training opportunities for medication-assisted treatment.

*approved for 24 hours of category 1 CME by AAPA

Apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number through the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System website. If you have a NPI, you can make changes to your information. If you don’t have an NPI, you’ll need to establish an Identity and Access account.

Or download a pdf of the National Provider Identifier application form.

This Boston University webpage links you to the latest clinically relevant research on alcohol, illicit drugs, and health.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a gateway to numerous resources on substance use disorder diagnosis and treatment.

Medicare Part D opioid prescribing interactive mapping tool: Compare data from geographic locations.

FREE NEJM Knowledge+ Pain Management and Opioids focus module. Sixty-two engaging, case-based questions, with feedback, allow you to earn your required CME credits.

SCOPE of Pain is an effort by Boston University to instruct providers on safe opiate prescribing practices, Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education.

BMC MAT Quick Start is a free smart phone app developed by Boston Medical Center (BMC) with the Opioid Response Network (ORN) that provides clinicians with up-to-date evidence-based guidelines and resources for treating OUD with buprenorphine and naltrexone. Information on OUD treatment with methadone and pain management strategies are also included. In the app, interactive clinical algorithms walk clinicians through each step of the decision-making process when caring for OUD patients. To download the app, visit the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or go to your phone’s app center and search for BMC MAT Quick Start.

This panel discussion by the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University presents two patients in recovery from OUD and one person whose family member suffered from OUD.

Find videos and other content to help you teach the concepts and practice of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to your students through the NORC at the University of Chicago SBIRT web page or visit the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions SBIRT web page for more resources.

The Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) is a nonprofit professional organization whose mission is to improve health and well-being through interdisciplinary leadership in substance use education research, clinical care, and policy.

The Institute for Research, Education & Training in Addiction (IRETA) is a nonprofit geared toward improving individual and system-level responses to addiction. IRETA offers education, evaluation, and guidance to help people respond effectively to substance use and related problems.

CO*RE includes 10 member-led healthcare organizations (AAPA among them) representing PAs, nurse practitioners, medical doctors, and more. Its mission is to “promote individual and population health” and “interprofessional education related to the comprehensive management of pain, addiction, and their comorbidities.”

Building on a rich history, the ATTC Network continuously strives to improve the quality of addictions treatment and recovery services by facilitating alliances among front line counselors, treatment and recovery services agency administrators, faith-based organizations, policy makers, the health and mental health communities, consumers and other stakeholders. By connecting them to the latest research and information through activities such as skills training, academic education, online and distance education, conferences, workshops, and publications, the ATTC Network responds to the emerging needs of the field.

The National Alliance for Medication Assisted (NAMA) Recovery is an organization of health care professionals and patients who support medication-assisted and other quality opiate agonist treatment. Its main objective is to advocate for patients by empowering them and destigmatizing medication-assisted treatment.

National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to educate the public about opioid addiction and the buprenorphine as a treatment option,help reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding patients, and serve as a conduit connecting patients in need of treatment to qualified treatment providers.

Appendix M for Self Study Report. ARC-PA requires all program changes to be reported in Appendix M when a self-study document is submitted. Here is suggested documentation when you add MAT training to your program.

PA Waiver Training Modules. Every student wants to know why they are doing something as part of their course of study. Listed are the ARC-PA standards that might be impacted by the addition of MAT training to your program. Also listed are the topics and objectives of the MAT waiver training from ASAM and PCSS to help you comply with the standards.

Download these two standardized patient scripts that programs could adapt and use for their curricula: PTSD and Chronic Pain, and Chronic Back Pain and Opioid Resistance.

Read this study on the best time to integrate opioid use disorder content, including MAT training, into your program’s curriculum.

Get in Touch

Contact Senior Director of Government Relations Tyler Smith.

Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI080816-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.