Medical providers invited to opioid treatment training

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NEW CASTLE — The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services invites medical providers and practice managers in primary care, women’s health, infectious disease and psychiatry to participate in a program that will train providers to treat opioid-use disorder among Medicaid recipients.

Office-based opioid treatment involves prescribing safe, effective, Food and Drug Administration-approved medications, especially buprenorphine, to treat OUD in primary care and other outpatient settings, according to a news release.

The OBOT Fellowship Program helps practices design and implement clinical and operational workflows to use medications to treat OUD. The fellowship runs from March 23 through Sept. 23 via webinars and discussion groups. It will enable participating prescribers and clinic practice managers to:

• Learn from addiction-medicine experts.

• Exchange ideas through a peer network.

• Receive technical assistance to offer OBOT.

• Learn about the available Medicaid financing mechanisms for OBOT.

• Gain access to a curated online library of tools and evidence-based practices.

The program — supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services through a $3.58 million grant awarded to the state — provides $3,000 for clinical providers and $2,000 for practice managers in primary care, women’s health, infectious disease and psychiatric outpatient settings.

Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health will also offer up to $49,000 for practices represented in the OBOT Fellowship Program that agree to implement office-based opioid treatment and meet performance metrics.

“Opioid addiction is an ongoing and often deadly presence for many Delawareans and their families, and we need every tool at our disposal to help them confront it,” said Gov. John Carney. “Equipping our medical providers to manage the treatment of these patients is an important part of this effort.”

Designed to accommodate participants’ schedules, the training will be given in two phases. Phase 1, lasting four weeks, features self-paced modules and weekly discussion groups. Phase 2 runs from late April to late September and consists of biweekly interactive webinars.

“This training will help clinicians and practice managers provide ‘whole-person’ care for people with opioid-use disorder,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “This should lead to greater access to treatment and better physical-health outcomes for these patients.”

Outpatient providers, including primary care doctors, develop relationships with patients and communities that position them to bring opioid-use disorder treatment to many people who need it, said Dr. Elizabeth Brown, chief medical officer for the state’s Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance.

“However,” she added, “most health care providers didn’t receive adequate training in school to feel comfortable providing medications for OUD. This fellowship opportunity is a way to get providers up to speed on the latest treatment approaches and give them tools to feel confident in providing OUD treatment in their offices. We have medications that are safe and effective at treating OUD, and we want to maximize the number of providers who can use them.”

More information, including how to register, is available here or by contacting supportact@delaware.gov or (304) 663-1171.