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Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Through Incentivized Continuing Education

journal contribution
posted on 11.11.2022, 22:59 authored by Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, Dennis Smithenry, Randy A Boley, Kristin Hill, Niranjan S Karnik
INTRODUCTION: Buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) has positive outcomes including reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality. In March 2018, 58 of 102 counties in Illinois lacked access to medication for OUD. METHODS: Rush University created a fellowship training program with financial incentives to help expand buprenorphine treatment in Illinois. Fellows first completed an online waiver course, then attended an in-person intensive training weekend, and finally participated in a 9-month webinar series. Demographic and prescribing data were collected from fellows, as well as a comparison group of providers outside the fellowship who only completed a waiver training. RESULTS: At the fellowship's end, 31 of 37 fellows (84%) reported they were actively prescribing buprenorphine. Of the 23 fellows who were not prescribing at the fellowship's beginning, 17 (74%) initiated prescribing by the end. Among the 16 nonfellowship subjects who only completed a waiver training, just two (13%) reported they were prescribing buprenorphine at the study period's end. DISCUSSION: Our study indicates that providers need more training beyond the waiver to initiate buprenorphine prescribing. When resources are available to address a health crisis such as OUD, this model offers an innovative mechanism for delivering continuing medical education that produces outcomes quickly.


Great Lakes Node of the Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network | Funder: National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse) | Grant ID: UG1DA049467

Employing eSBI in a Community-based HIV Testing Environment for At-risk Youth | Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse | Grant ID: R01DA041071



Salisbury-Afshar, E., Smithenry, D., Boley, R. A., Hill, K.Karnik, N. S. (2021). Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Through Incentivized Continuing Education. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 42(1), e102-e105.


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