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Published on November 07, 2017

Course offered for buprenorphine waiver eligibility 

A free buprenorphine waiver training course for healthcare providers will be held in December in downtown Binghamton.

Co-sponsored by UHS and the Broome County Health Department, it is designed for physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and will be taught by addiction medicine specialists Peter Ronan, MD, and Julia Hunter, MD, MPH.

The in-person training will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Conference Room at the Broome County Health Department, at 225 Front St. in Binghamton.

Light refreshments will be provided.

The program, offered in concert with the New York State Department of Health, is designed to fulfill the training requirement for providers who wish to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone.

The course is part of an effort to encourage primary care providers to treat patients with opioid use disorders at the medical home level.

Dr. Ronan, medical director of Addiction Medicine at UHS, noted that opioid use disorder is a chronic, relapsing and remitting disease - like diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure - that can often be successfully managed in the primary care setting.

UHS and the Broome County Health Department are partners in advocating the hub-and-spoke treatment model, which proposes that the majority of patients with opioid use disorder receive treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone in their primary care medical homes, which function as the “spokes.”

“Patients who are medically appropriate for methadone or who are in need of a higher level of care receive treatment at a ‘hub,’ a specialized opioid treatment program,” said Dr. Hunter, assistant medical director of Addiction Medicine at UHS.

Instead of isolated clinics providing the only treatment option available, the hubs become specialty referral centers for addiction medicine, or places where patients with the most severe illness can be stabilized and treated.

Patients on buprenorphine/naloxone can transfer between the hub and the spokes depending on their clinical course.

Providers who are interested in signing up for the training should note the following:

Under current regulations, authorized practitioners are required to obtain a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine by completing standard eight-hour training. 

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants must complete the eight-hour training, plus 16 hours of online training as established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

The eight-hour course is offered as 4.5 hours of in-person training, followed by 3.5 hours of online training.

The course is designated for 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits.

To register online, visit https://goo.gl/kDFVBS.

If you have questions, call 212-417-4558 or 518-473-7428.