Predictors of Buprenorphine Prescribing by Family Physicians in Rural Areas Nationally

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Project funded:
September 2017
Anticipated completion date:
March 2019

Family physicians are the most prevalent physician specialty in rural America and can treat opioid use disorder (OUD) with buprenorphine if they complete training to obtain a special Drug Enforcement Agency license. However, the uptake of buprenorphine prescribing by family physicians has been low. We will conduct a multilevel logistic regression analysis of a nationally representative cohort of family physicians registering for the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) recertification examination. While past research has documented disparities in location and logistical barriers to prescribing buprenorphine, it remains unknown what practice features (size, composition of the healthcare team, organization) are associated with prescribing buprenorphine. Further, whether associations remain constant across the rural / urban continuum may provide vital information for differential policy levers between large and small rural areas.