News & Updates Program Brief

FORE Brief Showcases Effective Model of Training Primary Care Providers to Treat OUD

March 09, 2022

Lack of information and support can discourage clinicians from offering treatment to people with opioid use disorder (OUD). A new issue brief shows how FORE grantees in Alabama and North Carolina are overcoming this hurdle by leveraging the hub-and-spoke model, which enables specialists to offer training and oversight to primary care providers.

This approach can dramatically expand primary care providers’ capacity to treat people with OUD. So far, FORE grantee Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has trained more than 100 clinicians to prescribe medications for OUD; she’s also provided telehealth consultations and on-demand advice to trainees. Cahaba Medical Care, one of the community health centers that’s taken part, went from having two prescribers who were able to treat 70 patients to over 30 prescribers treating nearly 1,000 people.

“We are learning that merely getting waivered to prescribe medications for OUD is not enough to drive significant increases in access to care,” says Ken Shatzkes, Ph.D., senior program officer at FORE. “As our grantees are showing, primary care providers need training, mentorship, and coaching to build a community of practice in which clinicians can provide high-quality, effective care to patients with OUD.”