Overdose Epidemic

What is the MATE Act?


The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act requires physicians, including residents and fellows, and other health care professionals who prescribe controlled substances, to complete a one-time-only eight hours of training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. 

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Effective June 27, 2023, the federal legislation (PDF) states that health practitioners who apply for or renew their Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration to prescribe controlled substances must attest they have completed the training by checking a box on their online DEA application form. The deadline for satisfying this new training requirement is the date of a practitioner's initial application for DEA registration or their next scheduled DEA registration renewal. DEA registration is valid for a three-year period before it must be renewed. If training was already completed any time prior to June 27, 2023, there is no need to complete another eight hours of training to satisfy the MATE Act.

Health practitioners are considered to have satisfied this requirement if they are:

  • Board certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Addiction Medicine or the American Osteopathic Association.
  • A graduate in good standing from a U.S. medical, dental, physician assistant or advanced practice nursing school within five years of their application for DEA registration, who successfully completed eight hours of training on:
    • Treating and managing patients with opioid and other substance use disorders, including the appropriate clinical use of all drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a substance use disorder
    • Safe pharmacological management of dental pain and screening, brief intervention, and referral for appropriate treatment of patients with or at risk of developing opioid and other substance use disorders
  • Have engaged in a total of eight hours of training on treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders from one a many organizations accredited to provide the training.

The MATE Act is a one-time requirement. Once a physician has completed the training, they don’t need to repeat the training for future registration renewals. In addition:

  • The training can be taken in any combination to fulfill the eight-hour requirement. This could mean online courses, classroom settings or seminars at professional society meetings.
  • The requirement refers to substance use disorders, not just opioid use disorder.

While the AMA has expressed concerns (PDF) about the new requirement, including “the potential for new barriers to care to arise from its implementation,” Bobby Mukkamala, MD, chair of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, said that “the AMA is pleased that the DEA has done significant outreach to the medical community about the new training requirements and has accepted many of our recommendations to try and minimize the additional administrative burden while also allowing physicians to choose the educational programs that will be most helpful to them in managing their own patients’ care.”

Many states already require physicians and other medical professionals to complete continuing medical education (CME) hours on safer prescribing of opioids. Physicians will be able to count many of these CME courses that they have already taken towards fulfilling this new requirement.

The AMA encourages medical students and residents to obtain written verification from their training institutions whether their training satisfies the MATE Act. In addition, physicians are encouraged to consult with their state and specialty societies for questions about whether specific education and training offered by a state or specialty society satisfies the MATE Act requirements. 

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Physicians can comply with the new requirement by accessing the in-depth CME training on substance use disorders and treatment found in the AMA Ed Hub™. CME activities can be taken in any combination to fulfill the eight-hour requirement. Free activities are noted.

Online courses offered by AMA Ed Hub to meet the DEA requirements include:

  1. Basics of Safe Opioid Prescribing and Management

    1. Includes understanding pain and conducting a pain assessment; essentials of good pain care; and practical guidance for pain management.

  2. Basics of Addiction Treatment

    1. Includes buprenorphine mini-course; contingency management; ASAM pain and addiction essentials online modules.

  3. Management of Addiction in Special Populations

    1. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and maternal opioid-related diagnoses; effect of incentives for alcohol abstinence; treatment of opioid use disorder course (criminal justice focus).

  4. Opioids and Fatalities: Prevention and Management

    1. The pandemic stay-at-home order and opioid-involved overdose fatalities; the hidden epidemic of opioid overdoses during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

  5. Addiction Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    1. Racial/ethnic, social and geographic trends in overdose-associated cardiac arrests; methadone access for opioid use disorder; use of and retention on video, telephone and in-person buprenorphine treatment.

The AMA GME Competency Education Program (GCEP) is also providing an easy-to-use, carefully curated curriculum to subscribing institutions in order to help physician residents and fellows comply with the new MATE Act training requirements.

This ready-to-assign curriculum fulfills the one-time, eight-hour requirement, taking the guesswork out of determining which courses to take. Program administrators can simply assign these courses to their learners and know that they have the education to fulfill the new requirement, and on the back end they can track course completions to ensure compliance.

The GCEP MATE Act curriculum consists of seven courses:

  1. MATE Act Compliance: Prescribing Opioids
  2. Essentials of Good Pain Care: A Team-Based Approach
  3. Using Opioids Safely: Practical Guidance for Pain Management
  4. Understanding Pain and Conducting a Pain Assessment: Practical Guidance for Pain Management
  5. Taking Responsibility in Minnesota: A Physician's Toolkit to Reverse the Drug Overdose Epidemic
  6. Racial/Ethnic, Social and Geographic Trends in Overdose-Associated Cardiac Arrests Observed by U.S. Emergency Medical Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  7. Methadone Access for Opioid-Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic Within the United States and Canada

AMA members receive a discount on Ed Hub learning materials to fulfill the MATE Act requirement. Learn more and become a member.

AMA MATE training on the AMA Ed Hub

More education on the AMA Ed Hub

Additional resources

Reviewed by: Giulia Merola, director, marketing and sales, Education Center

Reviewed on: 8/2/2023