Office-Based Opioid Treatment with Buprenorphine (OBOT-B): Statewide Implementation of the Massachusetts Collaborative Care Model in Community Health Centers

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Jan:60:6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.06.010. Epub 2015 Jun 26.


We describe a Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services' (BSAS) initiative to disseminate the office-based opioid treatment with buprenorphine (OBOT-B) Massachusetts Model from its development at Boston Medical Center (BMC) to its implementation at fourteen community health centers (CHCs) beginning in 2007. The Massachusetts Collaborative Care Model for the delivery of opioid agonist therapy with buprenorphine, in which nurses working with physicians play a central role in the evaluation and monitoring of patients, holds promise for the effective expansion of treatment for opioid use disorders. The training of and technical assistance for the OBOT nurses as well as a limited program assessment are described. Data spanning 6years (2007-2013) report patient demographics, prior treatment for opioid use disorders, history of overdose, housing, and employment. The expansion of OBOT to the fourteen CHCs increased the number of physicians who were "waivered" (i.e., enabling their prescribing of buprenorphine) by 375%, from 24 to 114, within 3years. During this period the annual admissions of OBOT patients to CHCs markedly increased. Dissemination of the Massachusetts Model of the Office-Based Opioid Treatment with Buprenorphine employing a collaborative care model with a central role for nursing enabled implementation of effective treatment for patients with an opioid use disorder at community health centers throughout Massachusetts while effectively engaging primary care physicians in this endeavor.

Keywords: Access to treatment; Buprenorphine; Nurse care manager; Opioid agonist therapy; Opioid use disorder; Waivered physicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / organization & administration*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / methods*
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / statistics & numerical data
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Narcotics
  • Buprenorphine