Monthly Archives: December 2016

HHS Expands Buprenorphine Prescribing Privileges

Earlier this month the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) may immediately begin taking the 24 hours of required training to prescribe the opioid use disorder treatment, buprenorphine. After completion of the training, NPs and PAs will be able to apply beginning in early 2017 to prescribe buprenorphine for up to 30 patients. Prescribing buprenorphine had previously been restricted to doctors. HHS also announced that it will seek to raise the cap on the number of patients NPs and PAs can treat with the opioid replacement therapy from 30 to 100 after they had prescribed the treatment for a year. Read more.

Allowable Fees for Medical Charts or Records

In the notice published on December 5, 2015, the PA Department of Health published the guidelines and fees that a health care provider or facility may charge in response to a request for production of medical charts or records. This notice updates the notice. Under 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6152, 6152.1 and 6155 (relating to subpoena of records; limit on charges; and rights of patients), a health care provider or facility is allowed to charge a fee in response to a request for medical charts or records. The Secretary of Health is directed to adjust annually the amounts which may be charged by the health care provider or facility. The Secretary is directed to base these adjustments on the most recent changes in the Consumer Price Index reported annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. For the annual period of October 31, 2015, through October 31, 2016, the Consumer Price Index was 1.6%. Accordingly, effective January 1, 2017, the following fees may be charged by a health care facility or health care provider in response to a request for production of medical charts or records.
For more information: