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  • August 06, 2018 4:21 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine
    Update: House of Delegates 2018

    The American Osteopathic Association held their annual business and House of Delegates meetings in Chicago July 16-22, 2018, which brought together more than 500 DOs and medical students to consider proposed resolutions and enact AOA policy. Dr. Margaret Kotz was our delegate and Dr. Stephen Wyatt our alternate.  Our hearty congratulations to them both for their dedication and work; both in preparation and during these meetings. 

    The AOAAM submitted Resolution H-215 for consideration, which proposed that it be:

    RESOLVED, that Osteopathic physicians who have completed AOA approved fellowships in Addiction Medicine be allowed to take the primary CAQ examination in Addiction Medicine; and, be it

    RESOLVED, that clinical practice pathway previously approved by the AOA in Addiction Medicine be reopened for six (6) years for all DOs who wish to become certified in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine.

    Click here for a copy of Resolution H-215

    The resolution went through an internal review process, and the HOD speaker and vice speaker noted that:

    1. The resolution topic is the responsibility of the AOA Board of Trustees (BOT) and, therefore, should be considered by the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS); and
    2. The resolved outcomes is not directed for policy that would necessarily effect the entire AOA.

    It was requested that permission be granted to forward the AOAAM resolution to the BOS for consideration and review. The BOS would then be the entity that would forward it to the AOA BOT for consideration.

    Because the BOS had been previously denied opening an Addiction Medicine CAQ, the AOAAM requested that the resolution not be removed for consideration by the HOD. Dr. Kotz then sent a letter to Dr. Boyd Buser, AOA past president, requesting that the AOA BOT review and support Resolution H-215. Dr. Buser was very supportive and indicated that the AOA BOT’s Certifying Board Services Task Force was aware of our issues and looking into a process for consideration of our resolution.

    Subsequently, letters were sent to the members of the AOA BOTs assigned to review the resolution, as well as the Education Review Committee members, and all state and specialty executive directors, educating them on the history of the addiction medicine CAQ, identifying the urgent need for certified DOs to better treat our patients and the need for parity with our allopathic colleagues. Dr. Kotz, Dr. Wyatt and Ms. Vidmer argued before several committees during the HOD, as did others who supported our resolution.

    On Saturday, the Educational Reference Committee amended H-215 to read the following:

    That the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) directs the American Osteopathic Conjoint Examinations Committee on Addiction Medicine, under the direction of the bureau of osteopathic specialists (BOS), to create a psychometrically valid exam for certificate of added qualifications (CAQ)/ subspecialty certification in addiction medicine; and, be it further resolved, that the AOA, through the BOS, develop a certification pathway for addiction medicine; and, be it further resolved, that the AOA, through the BOS, explore the feasibility of reopening the clinical practice pathway in addiction medicine, for a limited time, and report to the house of delegates in 2019.

    We were very encouraged, however when the H-215 came before the House for a vote, it was referred to the Finance Committee because the costs are estimated to exceed $100,000 and, per the AOA bylaws, must therefore be referred.

    While the AOAAM is disappointed that Resolution H-215 did not advance this year, we are heartened that we gained support from many AOA BOTs, and AOA state and specialty organizations. During the next year, we will work to ensure that the Conjoint Committee complies with its directive from the BOS to create a recertification exam, which will assist the Finance Committee in their assessment of the cost of the primary.  We ask that you continue to educate your colleagues on the importance of a primary CAQ so that next year, our resolution passes. 

    Our thanks again to Dr. Kotz and Dr. Wyatt, and the entire the AOAAM Board for their work. We are hopeful that soon, all osteopathic physicians who are qualified may sit for an AOA Addiction Medicine CAQ exam, just as our allopathic colleagues do through the American Board of Medical Specialties under the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

  • May 02, 2018 2:43 PM | Anonymous

    CDC launched Assessing and Addressing Opioid Use Disorder, the fifth module in a series of interactive, online trainings for healthcare providers. Participants will look at how opioid use disorder (OUD) is diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) assessment criteria, and learn how to discuss this diagnosis with patients. Providers will also examine the different types of medications used for medication-assisted therapy (MAT). This training features recommendations from the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and resources from SAMHSA, and provides sample scenarios and clinical tools and resources. This training provides free continuing education credit and is located on our Training for Providers webpage.

    Previous modules include:

    More Information:

  • February 15, 2018 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing this temporary scheduling order to schedule fentanyl-related substances that are not currently listed in any schedule of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and their isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters, and ethers in schedule I. This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these synthetic opioids in schedule I is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis, or possess), or propose to handle fentanyl-related substances.
  • September 26, 2017 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA urges caution about withholding opioid addiction medications from patients taking benzodiazepines or CNS depressants: careful medication management can reduce risks. This provides updated information to the FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns about serious risks and death when combining opioid pain or cough medicines with benzodiazepines; requires its strongest warning issued on August 31, 2016.

    To learn more click here:

  • September 26, 2017 2:51 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Victoria S. Thieme, DO and the UNECOM students, who came in third place in their Research Day poster submission "Supportive or Stigmatizing: Health Professional's Attitudes in Caring for Substance Users in Maine."

    The poster will be on display in the AOAAM room at OMED in Philadelphia. Stop by say hello and see the work of our students!


    We Need YOU to complete this survey

                An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 Maine residents want treatment for Substance Use Disorders, but do not have access to it. Most states have similar statistics!  We need your valuable insight in identifying some of the barriers to care that people with substance use disorder are currently experiencing. We, at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, seek to gather information about health care practitioners’ perspectives regarding patients on the substance use disorder spectrum to identify challenges, barriers, and opportunities to improve the care model for both healthcare professionals and patients.

                Participation in this study is voluntary per our UNE IRB and involves a 10-minute online survey. After completing the online survey, we will reach out to you to schedule a phone or Skype interview that will take approximately 30 minutes. The follow-up interview will be recorded through our MP3 device, de-identified, and then transcribed for further analysis.

                Thank you in advance for your time! For your participation in this survey and follow up interview, you will be entered in a drawing for one of five $50 Amazon gift cards.

    Click on this site: take the survey and provide us with your phone number or good email so that we can follow up with the phone interview.

  • September 08, 2017 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    Trends in the Use of Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Extended-Release Naltrexone at Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities: 2003-2015 (Update)

     Read the report: SAMHSA - The CBHSQ Report

  • September 08, 2017 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    The US Senate has approved Jerome Adams, MD, to be the next surgeon general.

    Dr Adams, along with four other nominees for positions in the Department of Health and Human Services, were confirmed today without a full floor vote but with the Senate's full consent. The legislators were finishing up as much business as possible before leaving for an already-delayed summer recess.

    The senators also approved Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, as the assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, a new position that has been called the mental health "czar"; Lance Robertson as assistant secretary for aging; Brett Giroir, MD, as assistant secretary for health; and  Robert Kadlec, MD, as assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

    The full Senate's backing was not unexpected, as all the nominees made it through a Senate confirmation hearing relatively unscathed on August 2.

    Dr Adams, currently Indiana's state health commissioner, also serves as an assistant professor of clinical anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine and as a staff anesthesiologist at Eskenazi Health, both in Indianapolis. He told members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that, if confirmed, one of his first priorities would be to address the opioid epidemic. As surgeon general, Dr Adams will oversee the 6600 uniformed health professionals in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

    Dr McCance-Katz currently serves as the chief medical officer of Rhode Island's Department of Behavioral Health Care, Disabilities, and Hospitals and was the chief medical officer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration from 2013 to 2015. She will be the first to hold the position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, a position created by the 2016 Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

    Dr McCance-Katz, a psychiatrist, was endorsed for the new position by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and other prominent medical associations.

  • September 08, 2017 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    A history of opioid addiction would be required to be displayed in medical records of individuals who have consented. It would also be shared with clinicians and pharmacists, according to a bill approved by the US Senate.

    The Senate passed the so-called "Jessie's Law" (S. 581) by unanimous consent on August 3 during a marathon session to tie up loose ends before legislators broke for their previously delayed summer recess. The unanimous consent procedure eliminated the need for debate or a vote.

    The bill followed a remarkably fast track after it was introduced in March by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. A companion proposal was introduced at the same time in the US House of Representatives by two Michigan lawmakers, Democrat Debbie Dingell and Republican Tim Walberg.

    The law is named for Jessie Grubb, a recovering addict who experienced relapse and overdosed after being given a large quantity of opioids following a surgical procedure by a clinician who said he was unaware of her history.

    "We must ensure physicians and other medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient's previous opioid addiction when determining appropriate medical care," said Manchin, in a statement issued after the Senate approval.

    The bill calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop standards that could be used by hospitals and physicians to "prominently" display a patient's history of opioid addiction in his or her medical record, but only if the patient has consented to providing the history to a clinician.

    The idea is that the opioid addiction history would be considered on par with allergies and other contraindications when a clinician is considering prescribing an opioid. The proposal states that the information should be available to all providers, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.

    "Jessie's Law" still needs to be taken up by the House.


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