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Gina Pferdehirt
Director, Public Relations & Community Relations
UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan and Community Care Behavioral Health Organization Announce Medication Assisted Treatment Clinical Courses for Treating Opioid Use Disorder

Courses include waiver-qualifying requirements

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 13, 2018) – As part of its ongoing efforts to support community-wide initiatives that address the opioid epidemic, the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care and Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, which are part of the UPMC Insurance Services Division, have partnered with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to host a series of training sessions in several regions of Pennsylvania for health care professionals who wish to receive a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver that is required for treatment of patients with opioid use disorder.

The first ASAM Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Course took place on Sat., Nov. 10 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pa. An additional training session is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Williamsport, Pa. and another will be scheduled in Altoona, Pa.

The courses cover evidence-based practices for identifying and assessing patients who would be appropriate for medication assisted treatment (MAT), as well as the medications used to manage patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). The courses are designed for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

“We are pleased to offer training for health care providers that will help them better understand their patients who have opioid use disorders and learn about medication assisted treatment for these individuals,” said Dr. James Schuster, chief medical officer for Medicaid, Special Needs, and behavioral health services at the UPMC Insurance Services Division. “Pennsylvania has a shortage of qualified providers and we are offering training options to help providers meet the requirements for a DEA waiver. More providers are necessary to adequately reach all members with opioid use disorders.”

The free, one-day, eight-hour course helps to fulfill requirements for a special Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine in office-based treatment of opioid use disorder.

Buprenorphine, which is also known by its brand name suboxone, is often used as part of the treatment for opioid use disorders.

The training is made possible by a recent grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that was awarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Stipends are available for health care professionals to help cover travel, time, and other expenses related to completion of the training program.

For more information, please visit https://elearning.asam.org/p/UPMC_Nov10, email education@asam.org, or call 301-656-3920.


About UPMC Insurance Services Division

The UPMC Insurance Services Division is owned by UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The UPMC Insurance Services Division—which includes UPMC Health Plan, WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, and Community Care Behavioral Health—offers a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance and workers' compensation products and services to more than 3.4 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.

About Community Care Behavioral Health Organization

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a nonprofit, tax-exempt recovery-focused behavioral health managed care organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, manages mental health and substance use disorder services for Medical Assistance recipients in Pennsylvania. Part of UPMC, Community Care was incorporated in 1996 with a mission to improve the health and well-being of the community through the promotion of effective and accessible behavioral health services.