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Unread 01-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #1
TIM
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Exclamation How to find Buprenorphine Treatment

How to find Buprenorphine Treatment

Once you have made the decision to talk with a doctor about buprenorphine treatment, you will find not all doctors can prescribe it. In fact only about 24,726 of the 800,000 US physicians have the necessary credentials to prescribe buprenorphine for addiction. To become certified doctors must take an 8 hour course and file a request. This can be done online. See http://www.naabt.org/providers.cfm#pc You can ask your doctor to become certified.

Buprenorphine Locator:
To find a doctor already certified near you, the government maintains a list online. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) has a list sorted by zip code of certrified doctors who have opted to be listed publically. http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/index.html

Buprenorphine Matching System:
Not all doctors are on the locator (about 15,413) and many who are listed are not currently accepting new patients. So finding one near you could be tough in some areas. To make things even harder and more unfair, each doctor is limited by law to only helping 30 patients at any one time during the first year of certification and up to 100 after that. If that didn’t make it hard enough, many doctors don’t accept insurance for addiction treatment even though many insurers now reimburse for it. You can file your own claim directly and overcome this in some cases. To help NAABT.org created a matching system. Patients apply anonymously, emails go out to area doctors, and doctors then respond when they have openings. Many of the doctors that participate in this program are not on the locator list. Patients have used this when they were unable to find a doctor on the list, or when searching at night or on weekends, doctors have responded at all times of the day or night, on weekends, and holidays. It has also been useful when locating a doctor that does accept insurance or can also treat a co-occurring illness.
Here’s how to register: https://www.naabt.org/patient_doctor/patient_login.cfm


Buprenorphine Clinical studies:
Sometimes you will be able to find clinical studies being conducted in your area. These can be a great way to get top quality treatment for free. You must carefully read the qualifying criteria and the details of the study. Studies that include “blind” or “placebo” mean that you might not be certain you are receiving the medication or a sugar pill. The best are “open label” “phase IV” studies. This means you know what they will be giving you and it is already FDA approved. www.clinicaltrials.gov keeps a list of ongoing studies.


Methadone clinics- Some methadone clinics also offer buprenorphine. However they must adhere to the same regulations as they do for methadone, so no monthly prescriptions. Most allow patients to qualify for take home doses after a set time, but most require daily visits for dispensing of the tablets, at least initially. A list of treatment centers that offer buprenorphine treatment is hosted by the US health dept. and displayed at the bottom of this page. www.naabt.org/local


The Three day rule: Any doctor can administer (not prescribe) Suboxone for up to 3 days even if they don't possess the training or waiver required by DATA-2000. The idea is in emergency situations any doctor can administer buprenorphine to relieve withdrawal symptoms while permanent treatment is being arranged. Few physicians are aware of this provision. Here is the law to print out and bring with you if you need immediate help but cannot find a certified physician.
www.naabt.org/documents/Three-day-rule.pdf


More information can be found at www.naabt.org


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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. Voluntary Disclosure: Timothy L. is the President of The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine treatment. (NAABT.org) The views and opinions of Timothy L., or any poster, are not necessarily the views of AddictionSurvivors.org. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider Any information you read here should only serve to inspire you to investigate further with credible, verifiable referenced sources or your doctor.

Last edited by TIM; 10-22-2009 at 12:02 PM.. Reason: updated statistics
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Unread 04-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #2
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Question How do I know if I'm paying too much?

How do I know if I'm paying too much?

Don't assume that because you were contacted that the physician is charging you a fair price. As with most purchases it pays to shop around.


In the United States most physicians in private practice are for-profit businesses. Our free enterprise system allows them to charge what they feel the market will bear and it is up to the individual physicians to accept or not accept private insurance. If you do have insurance, many companies will allow you to submit the claim yourself for direct reimbursement. If your plan covers behavioral health conditions demand they pay your claim. Some insurance companies still feel that they can discriminate against people with addictive disorders. Most states have laws requiring insurance plans to cover addiction treatment. HBO addressed this in their documentary “Addiction” and provides some resources. http://www.hbo.com/addiction/treatme...insurance.html

Patients should shop around to be sure they are receiving reasonable value for the money they are spending. Prices for in-office opioid addiction treatment with buprenorphine range from $75 initial visit plus $60/monthly follow-up visit, to $2,500 and $300-$500/month. The average seems to be $200- $400 for the initial induction visit and $100-$250/month for follow-up visits. The average daily dose of 16mgs costs about $12/day, but that can vary too. Location and density of certified physicians can affect price too. Physicians may offer additional services and programs that will make direct price comparisons difficult. Also consider different patients will require different levels of care and expertise.


Many physicians who get into addiction treatment have been personally touched by addiction in some way. The majority really wants to help and don’t want to overcharge. Like with anything else, there are people out there more interested in the profit and an educated consumer is the best defense. This is where friends and family can really help. Employing the help of friend or family member can be a great asset. When someone is ready to seek treatment, the last thing they want to do is engage in a stressful negotiation, they just want help.

Although economics is important, remember that seeking addiction treatment is a lifesaving decision and in the scope of things any price is ultimately worth it. Nonetheless there is no reason to pay more than you have to. Shop around, interview and compare, but don’t let that delay treatment, starting treatment, and then looking for a better value, is a prudent strategy.

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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. Voluntary Disclosure: Timothy L. is the President of The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine treatment. (NAABT.org) The views and opinions of Timothy L., or any poster, are not necessarily the views of AddictionSurvivors.org. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider Any information you read here should only serve to inspire you to investigate further with credible, verifiable referenced sources or your doctor.
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