HJAR Mar/Apr 2020

HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS I  MAR / APR 2020 45 an “X” DEA number is free, self-paced, and available online at www.pcssnow.org. Non- physician prescribers inArkansas must have appropriate agreements in accordance with their governing boards. Buprenorphine should be prescribed for patients who are physiologically dependent to reduce withdrawal and cravings. This medication blunts or blocks illicit opioid’s euphoric effects. Patients need to be educated to start buprenorphine in mild to moderate withdrawal to avoid precipitated withdrawal. Patients also need to be educated regarding overdose risk in combining benzodiazepines or alcohol with buprenorphine. Arkansas Medicaid has created a compre- hensive MAT program to support clients with a diagnosis of OUD. The program allows MAT patients to exceed the 12 physician-visits- per-year limit, and $500 benefit limit for laboratory and x-ray services when those services are part of MAT. Medicaid provid- ers who are interested in becoming a MAT provider will need to obtain an “X” DEA number and provide it to Medicaid Provider Enrollment to qualify for the newMAT des- ignation for billing purposes. The client will not be charged a co-pay for covered MAT, and the medications will not count toward a client’s monthly prescription limit. Arkan- sas Medicaid has removed the prior autho- rization requirement for one of each type of oral MAT medication. Vivitrol will require a prior authorization due to its high cost, but the prior authorization has been simplified to one page, rather than the previous prior authorization, which was longer. InArkansas, 327 providers have complet- ed “X” DEA training. The Arkansas Depart- ment of Human Services (DHS) Division of Adult, Aging, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS) aims to create a network for refer- ral and treatment, so that emergency room physicians andAPRNs will feel comfortable initiating buprenorphine for patients, know- ing their patients will be cared for at a local primary care or mental health center. Arkan- sas needs more providers to train in this field and offer these life-saving medications for patients who need help. Toward that effort, Jennifer Shuler, MNSc, RN, APRN, ACNP-BC Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services DAABHS continues to advocate for provid- ers to universally screen for OUD and create relationships to refer to appropriate care. n Jennifer Shuler is an acute care nurse practitioner with eight years of APRN experience. She graduated from Arkansas State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working in critical care for two years, she enrolled in the UAMS College of Nursing and graduated with a Master of Nursing Sci- ence degree in December 2010. Soon after, in March 2011, Shuler achieved national board certification as an acute care nurse practitioner. She is a member of SigmaThetaTauNursing Honor Society,theAmerican Association of Nurse Practitioners, and theArkansas Nurse Practitioner Association. With 15 years of clinical experience in various practice settings, Shuler has worked as a nurse technician, LPN, RN, and APRN in direct patient care. In 2019, she transitioned to administrative work at theArkan- sas Department of Human Services in the Division of Aging,Adult,and Behavioral Health Services with the treatment team under Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane. With her provider status and varied background, she strives to encourage other providers to become DEAwaivered,and to provide office-based opioid treat- ment to better the lives of Arkansans.