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medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders

Opioid Treatment Program Accreditation


Accreditation is the peer review process by which SAMHSA-approved accreditation bodies make site visits and review the policies, procedures, practices and patient services of an organization providing opioid treatment. The purpose of these accreditation site visits is to ensure that opioid treatment programs (OTPs) meet specific, nationally-accepted standards regarding organizational functioning and patient care.

Accreditation assists OTPs in improving their quality of care. It emphasizes providing person-focused care, and an integrated and individualized approach to services and outcomes. Accreditation enhances community confidence, provides a staff education tool, enhances medical staff recruitment, and often fulfills State licensure requirements. Other benefits of accreditation may include meeting certain Medicare certification requirements, enhancing access to managed care contracts, and favorably influencing liability insurance premiums. A discussion of and links to two studies of the impact of OTP accreditation is found on the OTP Accreditation Impact Studies page.

Once an OTP is accredited by a SAMHSA-approved accrediting body, SAMHSA uses the accreditation results along with other data to determine whether the program is qualified to carry out treatment under the standards in Federal Regulation 42 CFR Part 8. Qualified accredited programs receive certification by SAMHSA. A program may apply to SAMHSA for initial (provisional) certification during the time it is working towards accreditation with a SAMHSA-approved accrediting body. Programs applying for accreditation or certification must also comply with the applicable laws and regulations in their states.

For an overview of the OTP accreditation and certification process, view the Opioid Treatment Regulation page.

Accreditation Guidelines

SAMHSA, in a collaborative process involving expert panels, field reviews, and clearances from other Federal agencies and the Office of Management and Budget, has promulgated guidelines for the accreditation of opioid treatment programs. The Guidelines for the Accreditation of Opioid Treatment Programs, first released in 1999, provide direction to accreditation organizations and opioid treatment programs on achieving conformance with the Federal Opioid Treatment Standards in Federal Regulation 42 CFR Part 8.

CSAT is committed to Good Guideline Practices, and such practices include periodic review and update of guidelines as evidence and experiences associated with best practices advance. As such, CSAT announced the availability of the revised draft Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment (PDF, 982 KB) in the Federal Register on Thursday, May 16, 2013. The notice provides information on how to obtain the draft and submit comments.

CSAT will consider all comments submitted no later than 60 calendar days from the date of publication in the Federal Register in order to publish a revised guideline. The draft guideline is accessible at insert PDF of new 2013 Guidelines. You may submit electronic comments to Written comments should be mailed to the following address ONLY:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
Attention: DPT Federal Register Representative,
Division of Pharmacologic Therapies,
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1044,
Rockville, MD 20857.

Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.

Accrediting Bodies

The complete list of all SAMHSA-approved OTP accrediting bodies is found at

Application to SAMHSA for approval as an OTP accrediting body under 42 CFR can be submitted to SAMHSA using form SMA-163: Application for Approval as Accreditation Body under 42 CFR.

OTP Accreditation Technical Assistance

Technical assistance (TA) is available to help programs meet accreditation standards by identifying potential deficiencies and providing resources to assist in making the necessary changes. If you would like TA for your OTP or would like to learn more about the resources available to OTPs under the TA contract, please contact Sharon Dow, with DB Consulting Group, at 1-800-839-6120.

For More Information

For more information about OTP accreditation or on becoming a SAMHSA-approved accrediting body, contact:

Sidney Hairston
Public Health Advisor
Division of Pharmacologic Therapies
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
1 Choke Cherry Rd., Room No 7-1042
Rockville, MD 20857
(Overnight: 20850)
Phone: 240 276-0602

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