Trending News Today: DEA Expands Qualification for Buprenorphine Prescribing

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The delay of 3 Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes through a recently passed stopgap spending bill will reduce revenue by $31.3 billion over the next decade, according to The Hill. Included in the approved legislation was a 2-year delay for the medical device tax, a 4-year delay of the Cadillac tax, and a 1-year delay on the health insurance tax, according to the article. Although these taxes were originally enacted to pay for the health law, they were previously delayed under a 2015 spending deal.

The recent approval of Medicaid work requirements has caused some conservative lawmakers to make plans to pursue expansion of the program, ABC News reported. Gov Gary Herbert (R-UT) said that the implementation of work requirements is a move that could prompt states to seek Medicaid expansion, according to the article. The GOP views the work requirements as a way to help Americans become self-sufficient and eventually purchase their own insurance.

Yesterday, the DEA changed a regulation that will allow more health care providers to prescribe buprenorphine, which will be especially beneficial for patients living in rural areas, Reuters reported. The recent change allows providers to register with the DEA as physicians who can prescribe buprenorphine for maintenance or detoxification. Under these changes, 5000 mid-level practitioners can prescribe the drug and 43,000 now qualify to do so, according to the article.