Concentration of Patient Care Among Buprenorphine-Prescribing Clinicians in the U.S.

Published in: JAMA, Volume 325, Number 21, pages 2206-2208 (2021). doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.4469

Posted on RAND.org on June 10, 2021

by Bradley D. Stein, Brendan Saloner, Megan S. Schuler, Jill Gurvey, Mark J. Sorbero, Adam J. Gordon

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In the US, buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder can be prescribed only by qualified clinicians. Policy initiatives and advocacy, such as efforts to remove the training requirements required for buprenorphine prescribing, have commonly focused on enlarging the pool of clinicians allowed to prescribe buprenorphine; current legislation under consideration in the US Congress would eliminate these requirements. However, many trained buprenorphine prescribers are not actively prescribing or are treating few patients, and the overall concentration of patient care among prescribers is not well characterized. We quantified the total amount of buprenorphine care delivered by active prescribers and to what extent that varies across specialties.

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