An educational intervention in Oregon increased physicians waivered to prescribe buprenorphine
This quality improvement project aimed to increase the number of primary care physicians (PCPs) waivered to prescribe buprenorphine and the number of primary care clinics with at least one waivered PCP. Conducted over 18 months in a large primary care network, part of the Providence Medical Group, the intervention involved multi-pronged outreach to 27 clinics, and included face-to-face meetings, use of an educational toolkit, conference calls, one-on-one coaching, and a monthly newsletter on medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD).
A preliminary survey identified barriers to potential uptake of a MOUD waiver by PCPs, including perceptions that opioid use disorder patients would present significant challenges, the presence of co-morbidities, and the time necessary to provide opioid use disorder treatment. These concerns were addressed in the educational interventions.
By the end of the project, 45% of participating clinics had at least one waivered PCP, and the number of waivered PCPs increased 9-fold.
This study was associated with a nearly 9-fold increase in the number of physicians who were trained and willing to treat OUD with buprenorphine.