Provider access to chronic opioid prescribing resources improves guideline adherance

August 06, 2020

Boston - Results of a new study find that providers participating in an intervention with education and resources to help manage chronic opioid therapy for patients with HIV and chronic pain are more likely to adhere to national chronic opioid therapy guidelines compared to providers who do not take part. The intervention resources include a nurse care manager to work with physicians and nurse practitioners who are the primary care providers for such patients, and access to addiction medicine specialists. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction, in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine, the Grady Health System Infectious Diseases Program and published in , the study shows that the intervention is a promising tool that can help providers better treat their HIV patients with chronic pain who are already receiving chronic opioid therapy.

"It's important to make sure that all providers have access to the tools and resources necessary for them to confidently provide chronic opioid therapy when treating patients with HIV and chronic pain while also working to prevent opioid misuse," said Jeffrey Samet, MD, MPH, the study's corresponding author and chief of general internal medicine at Boston Medical Center. Samet also is the John Noble, MD professor in general internal medicine and professor of community health science at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

Targeting Effective Analgesia in Clinics for HIV (TEACH) was developed based on another chronic care model for the management of long term opioid treatment for pain (

The results showed that providers who took part in the intervention were more likely to follow chronic opioid therapy guidelines, which are the recommendations established by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the HIV Medicine Association, compared to providers who followed usual care. In addition, the added monitoring was not associated with any adverse outcomes as reported by those in the study.

"Managing pain in persons with HIV may be challenging and the nurse care manager proved to be an effective way to support providers," Carlos del Rio, MD, executive associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady and co-principal investigator in this study with Samet.
This study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Emory Center for AIDS Research and the Boston/Providence Center for AIDS Research.

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 514-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $97 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2018. It is the 15th largest funding recipient in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in Boston HealthNet - 14 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit

Boston Medical Center

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