Bottom Line: This study used national survey data to estimate buprenorphine prescription rates to treat opioid use disorder by race/ethnicity and by payment type for office visits, which is how most patients with buprenorphine prescriptions get care. Researchers report buprenorphine office visits increased from 0.04 percent to 0.36 percent of ambulatory visits from 2004-2015 and that represented about 13.4 million visits from 2012-2015. Buprenorphine prescriptions were received at more visits from 2012-2015 by white patients than patients of other races/ethnicities. Office visits were most commonly paid for by private insurance or were self-pay. Increasing rates of opioid overdoses mean it is important that policy and research efforts address racial/ethnic and payment differences in access to treatment for opioid use disorder.
Authors: Pooja A. Lagisetty, M.D., M.Sc., University of Michigan, School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, and coauthors
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