Opioid misuse, including opioid use disorder and overdose, is a public health crisis in New York City. Treatment of opioid use disorders using medication-assisted treatments such as
buprenorphine or methadone, is effective and achieves better long-term health and social outcomes than treatment without these medications. Specifically, these medications reduce
mortality and drug use, and promote return to social functioning, such as improved quality of life, employment, and personal relationships.Notably, buprenorphine is an effective overdose intervention that can be prescribed in the general practice setting after physicians obtain a waiver, unlike methadone which can only be
prescribed in specialized treatment settings. Buprenorphine, however, remains scarcely available in safety net settings, leaving many individuals with opioid use disorders without the treatment they need. Several barriers hinder expansion of buprenorphine access in general practice settings:
lack of physician time to manage and coordinate care for patients with opioid use disorders, lack of familiarity with using buprenorphine and managing addiction, and lack of easy access to counseling for patients.In order to address these barriers, a solicitation will be issued to expand access to buprenorphine treatment in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC's) and substance use disorder treatment programs. This will involve the promotion and expansion of buprenorphine prescribing in multiple settings including general practice, specialized Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) and Medically Supervised Outpatient Treatment Programs (MSOPs).The objectives of the solicitation are to increase buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder by:
• Increasing the number of FQHC-based physicians who are trained and waivered to prescribe buprenorphine.
• Increasing the number of patients receiving buprenorphine treatment for treatment of opioid use disorders in FQHCs.
• Increasing the number of OTPs and MSOPs in New York City prescribing buprenorphine.
• Increasing the number of patients receiving buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use in MSOPs and OTPs.