UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Integrated Primary Care

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Integrative Medicine | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Background: Our rural health system sought to (1) increase the number of primary care clinicians waivered to prescribe buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and (2) consequently increase the number of our patients receiving this treatment.

Methods: We used the Project for Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) tele-education model as an implementation strategy. We examined the number of clinicians newly waivered, the number of patients treated with buprenorphine, the relationship between clinician engagement with ECHO training and rates of buprenorphine prescribing, and treatment retention at 180 days.

Results: The number of clinicians with a waiver and number of patients treated increased during and after ECHO training. There was a moderate correlation between the number of ECHO sessions attended by a clinician and number of their buprenorphine prescriptions (r = 0.50, p = 0.01). The 180-day retention rate was 80.7%.

Conclusions: Project ECHO was highly effective for increasing access to this evidence-based treatment. The high retention rate in this rural context indicates that most patients are increasing their likelihood of favorable outcomes.


Opioid use disorder, Project ECHO, buprenorphine, medication assisted treatment, medications for opioid use disorder, primary care, treatment retention rate

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© 2021 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

DOI of Published Version



Anderson JB, Martin SA, Gadomski A, Krupa N, Mullin D, Cahill A, Jenkins P. Project ECHO and primary care buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder: Implementation and clinical outcomes. Subst Abus. 2021 Jun 4:1-9. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2021.1931633. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34086529. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Substance abuse

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.