CMA urges DEA to deem California CME to meet new federal training requirements

March 16, 2023

Congress’ Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 included the Medication Access Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which established new training requirements for all DEA-registered prescribers of controlled substances that will take effect June 21, 2023.

The new law requires all prescribers of schedule II – V controlled substances to meet a one-time eight-hour training requirement on identifying, treating, and managing patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. 

California law already requires physicians to complete 12 hours of one-time continuing medical education (CME) in pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients. All courses must include the risk of addiction associated with the use of Schedule II drugs. Alternatively, California physicians may complete 12 hours of one-time CME on the treatment and management of opioid-dependent patients to meet the state requirements.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is urging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to confirm that completion of the California physician CME requirements satisfy the federal MATE training requirements and to provide written notice of this fact to all California DEA-registered physicians. CMA interprets federal law to allow physicians to apply the same training to meet both state and federal standards. 

CMA is also asking DEA to allow California physicians to merely attest that they have fulfilled the MATE Act requirements through the California CME courses when they apply to obtain or renew their DEA registration. 

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