Back to Insights and Updates for ProvidersApril 2024

Medication for Opioid Use Disorder: buprenorphine resources and training

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75% of the nearly 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 involved an opioid — a 15% increase in opioid-related overdose deaths from the previous year. In response to the growing crisis, efforts include increasing the number of buprenorphine prescribers and expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), also known as medication assisted treatment (MAT).

Research shows that when combined with counseling and therapy, medications such as buprenorphine are effective in treating opioid use disorder (OUD), helping sustain recovery, and preventing or reducing opioid overdose. In recent years, prescribing buprenorphine has become simpler, with removal of the federal waiver requirement to prescribe the drug, along with an increase in the per-physician patient limit. In addition, buprenorphine is the first FDA-approved addiction treatment medication that can be prescribed or dispensed in an office-based setting — as opposed to a clinic or facility — by physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Prescribing buprenorphine

If you have an up-to-date Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration that includes Schedule III authority, you can prescribe buprenorphine for OUD. New or renewing DEA registrants must meet certain requirements, including training on opioid and other substance use disorders from an accredited organization. Refer to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Waiver Elimination (MAT Act) for details.

Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction Training and Technical Assistance and the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) offer virtual MOUD training that meets the DEA course requirement.

For more information and educational opportunities, refer to:

Point32Health guidelines and resources

Prior authorization to prescribe buprenorphine for eligible members may be required. We encourage providers to review Point32Health’s Opioid Dependence Medications Pharmacy Medical Necessity Guidelines for more information.

For billing requirements, please refer to the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan Commercial, Tufts Health Plan Public Plans, and Tufts Health Plan Senior Products Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Payment Policies.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our substance use treatment provider partners and look forward to our continued collaboration on behalf of all patients navigating the road to recovery!

Audrey Kleinberg,
Director, Provider Relations & Communications

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Senior Manager, Provider Communications

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