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Research Letter
June 1, 2021

Concentration of Patient Care Among Buprenorphine-Prescribing Clinicians in the US

Author Affiliations
  • 1RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia
  • 4VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
JAMA. 2021;325(21):2206-2208. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.4469

In the US, buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder can be prescribed only by qualified clinicians. Policy initiatives and advocacy, such as efforts to remove the training requirements required for buprenorphine prescribing, have commonly focused on enlarging the pool of clinicians allowed to prescribe buprenorphine1; current legislation under consideration in the US Congress would eliminate these requirements.2 However, many trained buprenorphine prescribers are not actively prescribing3 or are treating few patients,4,5 and the overall concentration of patient care among prescribers is not well characterized. We quantified the total amount of buprenorphine care delivered by active prescribers and to what extent that varies across specialties.