Southern Tier – Contact your Family Physician to Become a Suboxone Prescriber!

Have you ever found yourself wishing there were more Suboxone prescribers in our area? Ever wonder why you can’t just go to your regular doctor to obtain addiction treatment? Well, there is a way! You can help us increase the amount of providers we have in our area by contacting your own doctor!

Truth Pharm Board Member, Theresa Baxter, a Nurse Practitioner who is passionate about access to Medical Assisted Treatment has drafted a letter and phone call script for your use in promoting a free waiver training coming up in Broome County open to all New York State physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents so that they can become part of the SOLUTION to the epidemic by becoming a Suboxone prescriber. Having addiction treatment available at your family physician’s officer will reduce stigma, increase successful outcomes and mainstream treatment and there is no excuse for any doctor to refuse to become certified.

Here is a letter you can copy and paste into a word document or email and personalize from yourself:
Your Name
Street Address
City, ST ZIP Code

Date

[INSERT YOUR CARE PROVIDERS NAME WITH PROPER TITLE]
Title
Organization Name
Street Address
City, ST ZIP Code

Dear [INSERT YOUR CARE PROVIDERS NAME WITH PROPER TITLE]:

As one of your patients, I wanted to be sure you were aware the NYSDOH AIDS Institute is hosting a Free Buprenorphine Waiver Eligibility Training for Clinical Providers (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Medical Residents) on Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 8:00AM to 1:00PM at the Broome County Health Dept., 225 Front Street, Conference Room, Binghamton, NY 13905.

As a physician [or Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant] I imagine that you currently care for patients with opioid use disorder/addiction, which nationally is a public health emergency. More than 64,000 people died in this country in 2016 from a drug overdose. You take great care of a wide range of medical conditions, this would be another service for you to offer to your current patients. This would also enable them to receive more of their care with a single provider of whom they already have a relationship with, furthering the opportunity for better health outcomes.

There aren’t enough clinicians who can prescribe buprenorphine, which is shameful since every provider with a DEA license can and likely has prescribed opioid pain medication to their patients. Unfortunately, that’s how many people start their addiction – with prescription opioids.
When patients are able to receive Buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder from their primary care provider it can decrease stigma and increase the chances for sustained recovery.

This is especially important to me because [INSERT PERSONAL STORY IF YOU CARE TO, OR DELETE THIS SECTION].

It’s a very educational course, free of charge, and easily accessible. Please consider this free of charge opportunity to help more people.

Sincerely,

Your loyal patient

After mailing your letter, we suggest you call your provider to follow up. If they are not interested in prescribing and helping with this solution, as their patient, you might want to know why:

Hello Dr. XXX or NP, or PA,

I’m one of your patients, and I wanted to be sure you received the letter I sent that included a flyer announcing a free buprenorphine waiver training course for clinical providers.

Did you have a chance to review it?

Ok, Can I tell you about it real quick? It’s free(!), very educational, and they’re serving refreshments.

Then can read the letter or paraphrase it………

Does this sound like something you and your colleagues can attend? It’s important to your patients, and it’s important to me personally because………..

Thank you so much for considering this. It could mean so much to so many people. Please let me know if you will attend or not. I’ll follow up after the training.

Here is a link to the flyer for the training event: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwbX8JuE_ng1d0RCTjc1bDNCWENlQU9zbmFIdVVZU2RlVkdN

Here is a link to directions: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwbX8JuE_ng1VzNwZ3hXWTdUU2ZSb0Zic1ZLMlcwcm1Oc19j

Here is a link to an email with pertinent information: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1a2xy2RoRsZSw5dGgKyph8Rkla0r1AXi-

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NYS OASAS 5 Year Plan – Hearing Testimony – Truth Pharm’s Submission

Dear Commissioner Sanchez,

Truth Pharm is thankful for the work that has been done and for the ways in which NYS OASAS has been attempting to respond to the overdose and addiction healthcare crisis.

We are also concerned as we move forward with several issues.

We would like to provide our input for the statewide plan here:

1. We believe OASAS should require all treatment providers to make 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year follow-up calls to all patients who have participated in their programs. Until we start tracking the success of a person to maintain recovery AFTER discharge, we will never know the true success rates of our programs.

2. OASAS should develop an survey device to give to every single patient who engages in treatment in New York State to determine how long it took them to get an evaluation, how long it took them to receive treatment, how long they received treatment, what the barriers to treatment were, if insurance created any barriers to receiving treatment, how they were treated by the treatment providers and if they received a warm handoff to any follow-up services they needed (to name a few). This should be a survey they can fill out and drop in the mail or login online to fill out. This is a low cost way for OASAS to understand the system of treatment in NY, to monitor outcomes and determine if we are improving systems or not.

3. ALL OASAS treatment providers should be required to inform every patient of the modalities of treatment with statistical outcomes available even if that provider does not provide it. Also, all providers should be required to provide MAT and all providers should have group or treatment therapies available OTHER than 12 step models.

4. We would like to see NY OASAS embrace an integrative harm reduction therapy model where we recognize the stages of change.

5. Every treatment provider who discharges a patient for relapse should be penalized.

6. NY OASAS needs to do away with the smoking ban at treatment providers and require treatment providers to create smoking areas for patients. No patient should ever be kicked out of treatment for smoking and accommodations should be made for those who do smoke.

7. We must have longer inpatient care available for those who seek it.

8. We must have 24/7 access to care.

9. Greater access to MAT.

10. Immediate access to treatment and/or harm reduction providers through Emergency Room visits.

11. Banish all total abstinence models of treatment by our treatment providers. It should be OPTIONAL for patients to engage in a total abstinence model of treatment.

12. Require all treatment facilities, outpatient clinics and residential facilities to have all staff trained in the administration of Naloxone and to have Naloxone on premises.

13. Require all treatment facilities, outpatient clinics and residential facilities to provide patient and family or support persons with Naloxone training as well as a kit to take home upon discharge.

14. The OASAS Bed Availability Dashboard should allow for search by treatment type.

15. The OASAS Bed Availability Dashboard needs a button added to report to OASAS when a provider’s beds listed is inaccurate.

16. Of all the things OASAS can/should provide, the most beneficial may be staff that would immediately handle insurance denials so that treatment providers and/or patients are not burdened with this.

17. OASAS should constantly review the criteria that treatment facilities are using to provide medication assisted treatment (MAT). Many are not following the standard protocol for prescribing.

18. OASAS and New York State need to stop pumping funding and money solely into the system that has already failed us and explore new providers, how grassroots organizations are able to improve the issues with the epidemic and/or are already providing services without funding.

19. All treatment should be followed up with referral to recovery coaches.

20. Expansion of recovery supports within communities.

21. Drug user health supports with harm reduction in every county.

22. Harm reduction education at all treatment centers.

A reminder that it has been the grassroots organizations that have brought many of the issues of this epidemic to the forefront. Many of these organizations continue to be unfunded despite the work they have done to make our elected officials and regulators aware of the issues and to provide services within our communities. OASAS needs to invest in these organizations and break down the barriers to provide funding. They are the backbone of the communities, they are the direct link to those impacted and we continue to do the work as we see money directed towards those who have allowed our children to die. We need to be supported.

Thank you,
Alexis Pleus
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