Addressing the Shortage of Providers in Colorado able to Prescribe Treatment for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
For the last decade, overdose has been a leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in Colorado. Colorado providers have a unique opportunity to aid persons struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD) during the vulnerable perinatal period.
Buprenorphine can be prescribed during routine clinical care, including primary care, family practice, psychiatry, and the emergency department, to treat individuals with prescription opioid or heroin addiction, including during pregnancy and postpartum. With the increasing prevalence of maternal OUD and overdose deaths in the state, it is imperative that treatment resources for these patients increase.
However, there is a shortage of providers in Colorado who are able to prescribe buprenorphine treatment for patients with OUD, and even fewer trained to care for the perinatal population.
To address this need, the Practice Innovations in Opioid Management at the CU Department of Family Medicine is offering a stipend for Colorado providers who invest the time to take the waiver training to get their DEA X waiver. Those who complete a waiver training course and receive their waivers from DEA by September 30 will be eligible to receive up to $1000 in compensation.
Amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, multidisciplinary professionals who support families with newborns prenatally exposed to substances from across the state of Colorado convened virtually on May 12th for the Spring CHoSEN Forum to share updates and learn from each other’s successes and challenges in implementing related quality improvement efforts.
Dr. Susan Hwang shared updates on the CHoSEN Collaborative’s hospital-level efforts, including the network’s growth to over 30 hospitals across three states and 2017-2020 data from hospitals within the CHoSEN cohort, including average lengths of inpatient stays for opioid-exposed newborns, percentages of opioid-exposed newborns who received pharmacologic therapy, and the racial and ethnic disparities that exist within those statistics.