Predictors of Buprenorphine Prescribing by Family Physicians in Rural Areas Nationally

Research center:
Lead researcher:
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Project funded:
September 2017
Project completed:
December 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 conducted 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.


Publications

  • Early-Career and Graduating Physicians More Likely to Prescribe Buprenorphine
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2020
    Only a small percentage of people who need treatment for opioid use disorder receive it, including buprenorphine. This paper shows differences in rates of prescribing buprenorphine and intentions to prescribe buprenorphine between early- and mid-to-late career family physicians, based on a survey of physicians taking a certification examination.
  • Practice Predictors of Buprenorphine Prescribing by Family Physicians
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2020
    Physicians may prescribe buprenorphine if they obtain a waiver, but relatively few family physicians do so. This paper examines the association between practice characteristics and the likelihood that a family physician will prescribe buprenorphine, based on a survey of physicians seeking board certification in family medicine.