Monthly Patient Volumes of Buprenorphine-Waivered Clinicians in the US

Published in: JAMA Network Open, Volume 3, Issue 8 (2020). doi: doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.14045

Posted on RAND.org on August 27, 2020

by Alexandra Duncan, Jared Anderman, Travis Deseran, Ian Reynolds, Bradley D. Stein

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Buprenorphine, which is effective in treating opioid use disorder (OUD), can be prescribed for OUD by clinicians who obtain a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) X-license after completing a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-approved training. Federal regulations currently limit these waivered clinicians to treating 30, 100, or 275 patients with buprenorphine concurrently, with clinicians able to request an increased amount if they are limited to treating 30 or 100 patients. Clinicians historically treat fewer patients with buprenorphine than their limit allows. Given efforts to increase buprenorphine use, this cross-sectional study examines the number of patients treated by waivered clinicians.

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