July 30, 2020

Colorado Pilot Program Increases Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder with Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

A study published in July 2020  reviewed the success of an 18-month pilot program in Colorado to train nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in prescribing medication for opioid use disorders (“MOUD”). The pilot program was the result of Colorado Senate Bill 17-074, which aimed to expand access to MOUDs in two rural counties, appropriating $500,000 per year for two years to train NPs and PAs in prescribing MOUDs and to provide behavioral therapy to patients receiving MOUDs. According to the study, the pilot program resulted in the training of 15 new MOUD prescribers, who served over 1,000 patients at three rural clinic sites. Following the success of the pilot program, the state of Colorado enacted Senate Bill 19-001, which expanded and extended the pilot program.