A free, online educational course offered by Louisiana Healthcare Connections throughout 2019 provided 121 clinicians across the state with the opportunity to become buprenorphine-waivered to treat Opioid-Use Disorder (OUD).
Conducted by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the course provided clinical education and CMEs to clinicians in the use of buprenorphine to treat OUD. Buprenorphine is the first at-home therapy to treat OUD and offers great potential for expanding treatment, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Only 76,037 – or seven percent – of the nation’s clinicians have waivers to prescribe buprenorphine, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In Louisiana, there are just 1,242 waivered healthcare professionals statewide, the agency reports.
Stewart Gordon, MD, Louisiana Healthcare Connections chief medical officer, said, “Buprenorphine has proven to be a clinically-effective, in-home therapy for opioid use disorder, yet few healthcare providers in our state are waivered to provide this therapy. By ensuring their access to this clinical training, we are helping to increase the number of clinicians prepared to effectively treat opioid addiction. We commend those healthcare professionals who participated in this training and who are taking the appropriate steps to become buprenorphine waivered.”
The 121 clinicians who registered for the training spanned the spectrum of healthcare, from substance abuse counselors, social workers, and behavioral health providers, to primary care physicians, clinical psychologists, and OB/GYNs. By completing the training, these healthcare professionals were able to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits in the treatment of opioid addiction, a copy of the ASAM National Practice Guidelines, and other clinical resources.
The course was offered four times in 2019. The next offering will be Jan. 17, 2020. Healthcare professionals may reserve their seats now by registering online at www.LouisianaHealthConnect.com/ASAMtraining.