Partners HealthCare member Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) is launching a first-of-its kind initiative to increase access to life-saving treatments for those struggling with substance use disorders. By offering providers incentives to encourage training and certification to prescribe Suboxone and other buprenorphine products, NHP hopes to increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment for patients in need.
Through this innovative effort, NHP will reimburse in-network physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants $500 for the cost of training to dispense these prescription drugs. As a further incentive, NHP will provide a $2,000 honorarium to practitioners who have treated at least 10 patients after becoming certified. Though medication-assisted treatment can effectively reduce cravings for opioids, and extend recovery, fewer than half of people with substance use disorders have access to these medications. To provide follow up care, NHP is also employing recovery coaches to work with at risk members.
“We have an obligation to bring every tool that medical science has available to combat this epidemic and help those suffering from substance use disorder heal and start on the road to full recovery," says Partners President and CEO David Torchiana, MD.
Partners has several additional, system-wide initiatives in place to address the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders affecting our patients, including our network of recovery coaches and involvement with the statewide RIZE initiative. As previously highlighted on this blog, Massachusetts General Hospital is also playing a leadership role in the treatment effort by prescribing buprenorphine in their Emergency Department.