Pennsylvania Clarifies the Duration of TeleMAT Waiver

The Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS) has issued additional guidance on the September 2020 TeleMAT Waiver, which waived the requirement for an initial physical examination of a patient prior to prescribing buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). DOS has determined that this waiver “relates to Federal exemptions granted under the Federal public health emergency declaration,” specifically the exemptions granted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).Therefore, in accordance with section 2102-F(a.3) of the Pennsylvania Administrative Code of 1929 (amended by Act 14 of 2022), the DOS waiver will continue until the last day of the federal public health emergency declaration and will no longer expire on June 30, 2022, as originally indicated. DOS also noted that to be considered within the acceptable and prevailing standard of care, the physician/prescriber must be following the applicable SAMHSA guidelines and DEA guidelines. Pennsylvania has not received notification that the public health emergency (PHE) will be terminated on July 15 and expects the PHE to be extended again. If this occurs, this waiver and others tied or related to the PHE will be extended until mid-October 2022. Visit the DOS COVID-19 Suspensions webpage for additional information on waivers.