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Are x-waiver trainings enough? Facilitators and barriers to buprenorphine prescribing after x-waiver trainings.

Gordon AJ, Kenny M, Dungan M, Gustavson AM, Kelley AT, Jones AL, Hawkins E, Frank JW, Danner A, Liberto J, Hagedorn H. Are x-waiver trainings enough? Facilitators and barriers to buprenorphine prescribing after x-waiver trainings. The American journal on addictions. 2022 Mar 1; 31(2):152-158.

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BACKGROUND: In the United States, an x-waiver credential is necessary to prescribe buprenorphine medication treatment for opioid use disorder (B-MOUD). Historically, this process has required certified training, which could be a barrier to obtaining an x-waiver and subsequently prescribing. To address this barrier, the US recently removed the training requirement for some clinicians. We sought to determine if clinicians who attended x-waiver training went on to obtain an x-waiver and prescribe B-MOUD, and to examine what facilitated or impeded B-MOUD prescribing. METHODS: In September 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional, electronic survey of attendees of 15 in-person x-waiver pieces of training from June 2018 to January 2020 within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Of the attendees (n? = 321), we surveyed current VHA clinicians who recalled taking the training. The survey assessed whether clinicians obtained the x-waiver, had prescribed B-MOUD, and barriers or facilitators that influenced B-MOUD prescribing. RESULTS: Of 251 eligible participants, 62 (24.7%) responded to the survey, including 27 (43.5%) physicians, 16 (25.8%) advanced practice clinicians, and 12 (19.4%) pharmacists. Of the 43 clinicians who could prescribe, 29 (67.4%) had obtained their x-waiver and 16 (37.2%) had reported prescribing B-MOUD. Prominent barriers to prescribing B-MOUD included a lack of supporting clinical staff and competing demands on time. The primary facilitator to prescribing was leadership support. CONCLUSION AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Nine months after x-waiver training, two-thirds of clinicians with prescribing credentials had obtained their x-waiver and one-third were prescribing B-MOUD. Removing the x-waiver training may not have the intended policy effect as other barriers to B-MOUD prescribing persist.

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