Treatment & Recovery
The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and rural America has been disproportionally impacted. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone and buprenorphine are evidence-based agonist treatments for opioid use disorder. However, numerous barriers exist and restrict access to MAT in rural areas. The use of telemedicine to deliver psychiatric services to underserved populations is demonstrated to be safe and effective; however, limited outcome data exists on the novel application of telemedicine in the delivery of MAT for opioid use disorder. The University of Maryland School of Medicine began providing buprenorphine treatment to patients with opioid use disorders via telemedicine in August 2015 and is currently providing this service to four different sites in underserved areas of rural Maryland.
This session will describe the impact of the opioid crisis on rural America, barriers to access to MAT in rural areas, and implementation of telemedicine delivered buprenorphine at four different rural sites in Maryland. Presenters will describe outcome data of a retrospective chart review of the first 177 patients treated examining retention in treatment and rates of continued opioid use. Treatment retention was 98% at one week, 91% at one month, 76% at two months, and 59% at three months. Of those patients still engaged in treatment at three months, 94% had stopped using illicit opioids. The findings suggest that treatment with buprenorphine can be effectively delivered by telemedicine to patients with opioid use disorders in underserved rural areas.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.