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Buprenorphine (or Suboxone®) is a key resource to address the increase in opioid use disorders and overdose deaths. However, treatment organizations have struggled with recruiting physicians licensed to prescribe the medication.

The aims of the Expanding Buprenorphine Prescribing Capacity project are to:

  • Increase buprenorphine slots
  • Increase use of existing buprenorphine slots
  • Improve the business case for the buprenorphine service (so it is more sustainable or can be expanded if desired)
  • Increase recruitment and use of buprenorphine prescribers

The Need

This study addresses three issues of substantial public health significance:

  1. the pressing opioid misuse epidemic
  2. the low uptake of buprenorphine – a key intervention in treating and preventing opioid misuse, and
  3. the need to increase physician participation in the addiction treatment workforce.


NIATx will work with substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin to design and implement strategies to expand buprenorphine prescribing capacity at their organizations.

This project will address the issue of physician recruitment by employing a group practices, the Physician Recruiting Bundle (PRB). The PRB includes:

  • candidate identification strategies
  • physician educational forums
  • flexible physician work scheduling
  • academic detailing
  • telemedicine

In the experimental arm of this proposed randomized trial, the PRB will be implemented using the evidence-based NIATx Organizational Change model developed by our research center and used in the pilot application. An eligibility determination phase will identify 80 organizations seeking buprenorphine-prescribing physicians, measure the degree to which the organizations already have implemented portions of the PRB, and match similar treatment organizations. Organizations will then be randomized into one of two arms: 1) control, and 2) PRB: organizations implementing the PRB using the NIATx Organizational Change Model.

Funding Period:
April 1, 2016 - December 31, 2020
Principal Investigators:
Todd Molfentor, Ph.D

Todd Molfenter
Project Director

Julie Horst
Project Coordinator