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

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

Download Free Electronic Document

Key Takeaways

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Download Support Files


FormatFile SizeNotes
zip file 3.7 MB

The file(s) provided above are ZIP-formatted archives, which most modern systems can natively unpack. If your computer does not unpack the archive when you double-click it, you may need to use a separate decompression program such as UnZip.

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.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.