On December 29, 2006, President Bush signed H.R. 6344 into law (public law 109-469 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:H.R.6344: ). This allows physicians certified under DATA-2000 who have submitted their original waiver at least 1 year ago, to treat up to 100 patients.
The passage of this law has been welcomed by many as the beginning of the removal of barriers which have been restricting treatment to those in need.
When we asked H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) what his thoughts on the increase were, he said “Many physicians have complained that the 30-patient limit of the number of patients that they could officially treat kept them from meeting the demand for buprenorphine treatment. With the change in the law, expanding the number of patients that a physician could treat to 100 patients, physicians will be able to treat a much larger number of individuals. The new 100 patient limit will help physicians to help more people who suffer from opioid dependence, whether from prescription opiates or from heroin.”
Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) told us, “The ability of approved physicians to prescribe buprenorphine to addicted patients expands opioid treatment from methadone clinics to physicians’ offices and treatment centers in communities nationwide. This will result in greater access to and choices for opioid addiction treatment, which in turn can bring different patients into care and reach communities that previously did not have access to appropriate treatment. To date, more than 9,000 physicians have been approved to prescribe buprenorphine.”
The enactment of this law should greatly reduce the number of patients on waiting lists and hopefully give more equilibrium in costs and availability for all seeking this treatment option. By the end of this month approximately 65% of the currently certified physicians will be eligible for the increase. Regretfully, many patients remain unaware that help may be as close as their doctor’s office. Expanding capacity is only part of the solution. Making the patients in need, aware is another part.
How to submit the “paperwork” to Treat up to 100 Patients
- Physicians must currently be authorized under DATA 2000.
- Physicians must have submitted the notification for initial authorization at least 1 year ago.
- Physicians must submit a second notification that conveys the need and intent to treat up to100 patients and certifies their necessary qualifying criteria and their capacity to refer patients for appropriate counseling and other appropriate ancillary services, and they must sign and date the form.
Forms can be found at the SAMHSA website: http://www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/
Look under “What’s New”. SAMHSA has made registration easy with pre-filled forms that contain information from your original waiver. Once submitted, physicians can immediately begin to treat up to 100 patients, there is no waiting period.
Details of this new legislation can be found on our 30/100-Patient Limit page:
NAABT Patient Awareness/Outreach Program.
This program started in the last two weeks of December in Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York City. The aim is to create awareness of the Buprenorphine Treatment option and to communicate that there is hope and a way to receive treatment with dignity and confidentiality.
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Vice Chair for Clinical Services, Assistant Clinical Professor at Maimonides Medical Center, Bronx, NY, stated “NAABT is making a significant impact. The subway ad campaign is leading to an increase in treatment referrals for opioid addiction, a life threatening illness. NAABT is literally saving lives.
“I've referred both patients and other physicians to the website. Both have found the website to be extremely helpful. My patients report feeling greatly relived to learn that there are many other people suffering from the same condition and with identical concerns and fears.” (See ad samples.)
Dr. Kolodny was formerly the Medical Director for Special Projects, Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
PPMS Status report: What is the Patient/Physician Matching System (PPMS)? On September 1, 2006 we launched the Patient/Physician Matching System nationwide. 835 physicians in all states except North Dakota have registered, and since then, 2,460 patients have registered. 1,550 have been connected with a treatment provider so far. In some areas patients have been contacted in as little as five minutes from registering. Unfortunately, there are still areas where few physicians are certified to prescribe buprenorphine and/or are not registered on the System. If you know someone who needs help please point them toward this free and anonymous resource. www.NAABTLIST.org
Help your visitors by placing this banner on your website.
You can help visitors to your website by adding a button that connects them with a physician certified to prescribe buprenorphine. This link gives your visitors another option in addition to the SAMHSA list of providers. It allows them to register anonymously, and for free, on a list and then participating physicians with treatment openings may contact them. It is an easier, more efficient way to match patients to physicians and a non-intimidating first step toward recovery available 24/7. The link below explains how you can place a banner or button on your website.
We have restructured our Literature Page – consolidating some of the pertinent material available on the web.
The NAABT Discussion Board now has almost 2,000 members who have posted over 37,000 posts. The main educational site receives an average of 2,600 visitors a day. Although the discussion board is not a substitute for counseling, many have reported benefit from the anonymous peer based forum.
NEW! Friends and Family Forum
We are pleased to announce the opening of a new forum for Friends and Family of those with the disease of opioid addiction. This discussion community is for loved ones to ask questions, find answers, support and hope through each other.
The Physician Locator (Doctor/Patient button) sorts physicians by distance in geographic proximity, regardless of city,
town, county, or state borders. Click here to try it for yourself.
NAABT Patient/Physician Matching System We continue to improve the matching system based on your feedback. A new Frequently Asked Questions page has been added to explain some of the latest improvements.
SAMHSA If you are a certified physician please be sure your information is correct on the locator. Please check for spelling and correct phone number. If you know of a colleague who is on the list but should not be due to no longer practicing, please advise. Please note: If you have multiple practice locations, you can now add them.
PCSS releases clinical guidelines for buprenorphine treatment concerning, Acute pain, liver function testing, Billing, Pregnancy, Transitions from methadone, and Management of psychiatric medications.
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