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BMC Health Services Research




BACKGROUND: Opioid-involved overdose deaths continue to rise in the US, despite availability of highly effective treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD), in part due to the insufficient number of treatment providers. Barriers include the need for providers to gain expertise and confidence in providing MOUD to their patients who need these treatments. To mitigate this barrier, New Jersey sponsored a buprenorphine training program with financial incentives for participation, which met the then existing requirement for the DATA-2000 waiver. In a 2019 follow-up survey, participants reported on barriers and facilitators to subsequent buprenorphine prescribing.

METHODS: Participants in the training program completed a 10-min electronic survey distributed via email. The survey addressed demographics, practice characteristics, current buprenorphine prescribing, and barriers and facilitators to adoption and/or scale up of buprenorphine prescribing.

RESULTS: Of the 440 attendees with a valid email address, 91 individuals completed the survey for a response rate of 20.6%. Of the 91 respondents, 89 were eligible prescribers and included in the final analysis. Respondents were predominantly female (n = 55, 59.6%) and physicians (n = 55, 61.8%); representing a broad range of specialties and practice sites. 65 (73%) of respondents completed the training and DEA-registration, but only 31 (34.8%) were actively prescribing buprenorphine. The most frequently cited barriers to buprenorphine prescribing were lack of access to support services such as specialists in addiction, behavioral health services, and psychiatry. The most frequently reported potential facilitators were integrated systems with direct access to addiction specialists and psychosocial services, easier referral to behavioral health services, more institutional support, and improved guidance on clinical practice standards for OUD treatment.

CONCLUSION: More than half (52.3%) of those who completed incentivized training and DEA registration failed to actively prescribe buprenorphine. Results highlight provider perceptions of inadequate availability of support for the complex needs of patients with OUD and suggest that broader adoption of buprenorphine prescribing will require scaling up support to clinicians, including increased availability of specialized addiction and mental health services.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.