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Are You Interested in Becoming a DATA-Waived Physician?

Are You Interested in Becoming a DATA-Waived Physician?

Enhanced Payment Rates Available

The Alabama Department of Mental Health is interested in partnering with physicians and other medical professionals who provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in the black belt counties and surrounding counties. As part of this initiative, ADMH is currently developing a Center of Excellence (COE) which will be located in one of these counties. Physicians will have the opportunity to partner with the COE to assist in providing MAT to this underserved area of the state.  Physicians who participate in a formal partnership with the COE will be eligible for enhanced rates of pay as related to MAT.

To participate in the formal partnership, a physician must be an approved Data 2000 Waived Physician and be able to demonstrate the ability to provide appropriate counseling services, either directly or through a partnership with an ADMH certified substance abuse provider, and appropriate medical care, including the prescribing of medications used to treat Opioid Use Disorders.

How does a physician apply for a physician waiver to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine? Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), qualified physicians may apply for waivers to treat opioid dependency with approved buprenorphine products in any settings in which they are qualified to practice, including an office, community hospital, health department, or correctional facility. A “qualifying physician” is specifically defined in DATA 2000 as one who is:

  • Licensed under state law (excluding physician assistants or nurse practitioners)
  • Registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense controlled substances
  • Required to treat no more than 30 patients at a time within the first year
  • Qualified by training and/or certification

One requirement under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), physicians are required to complete an eight-hour training to qualify for a waiver to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine. This required eight-hour training will be offered at ASADS on March 19, 2019.

For more information on the process of becoming a 2000 Data Waived Physician please visit


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Attention Primary Care Providers: Alcohol and Drug Conference is March 19-21

Attention Primary Care Providers: Alcohol and Drug Conference is March 19-21


See also: Are You Interested in Becoming a DATA-Waived Physician?

Alabama Department of Mental Health has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health on a grant to increase awareness of substance use disorders among primary care professionals. This grant will allow ADMH to pay the registration fee only for any of the following to attend the Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (ASADS):

  • MD
  • DO
  • PA
  • CRNP
  • CNM
  • RN

The Medical Foundation of Alabama designates this live activity for a maximum of 27 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

ASADS has been conducting conferences for over 43 years. Over the past couple of years, there has been a heavy emphasis in the community and at the state level to begin to develop a system of care that integrates primary care and substance abuse treatment. There are many great speakers at this year’s conference.

Dr. Alta DeRoo, M.D., FACOG, will present Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Waiver Training. This is required 8-hour training.

T4: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Waiver Training

This course is designed for MDs, DOs, PAs and CRNPs who are interested in becoming a 2000 Data Waived physician. This class will be held from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to meet the 8-hour requirement.

Course Description:

This presentation is designed to train qualified physicians in dispensing or prescribing specifically approved Schedule III, IV and V narcotic medications for the treatment of opioid addiction in an office-based setting. The goal of this training is to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to provide optimal care to opioid use disorder patients by providing:

1) an overview of opioid use disorder,

2) the efficacy and safety of buprenorphine,

3) process of patient selection,

4) clinical use of buprenorphine,

5) nonpharmacological interventions,

6) medical psychiatric conditions in opioid use disorder patients, office procedures, and

7) special treatment population.

This eight-hour training, which will include eight separate modules and four case studies. Each of the speakers will be presenting for two hours. The remaining two hours are broken up over the four case studies. Designated by the DHHS, this training meets the eight-hour requirement and is designed for physicians to dispense buprenorphine in office practice for treatment of opioid use disorder. Participation in this training will provide physicians with a comprehensive overview of buprenorphine prescribing and its safe and effective use in an office-based setting. This training is designed for physicians and other primary care providers who are likely to treat opioid-dependent persons in their practice, such as those in family practice, general internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, adolescent medicine specialists, and Opioid Treatment Programs.

Course Objectives:

After attending the course, a participant will be able to:

• review addiction treatment in office-based practices;

• discuss the pharmacological treatments of opioid use disorder;

• determine what medical record documentation must be followed;

• discuss the process of buprenorphine induction as well as stabilization and maintenance techniques;

• describe how to take a patient history and evaluation; and

• review safety concerns and drug interactions.

Dr. Merrill Norton, Ph.D., will be conducting a three-part series on The Pain of Pleasure: A Pharmacist’s Guide to Opioid Use Disorders for Prescribers and Other Healthcare Professionals.

Dr. Cardwell Nuckols, Ph.D.The Neurobiology of Addiction: The Addiction Process in Three Stages

Dr. Boyett, D.M.D., D.O., DFASAM, and Dr. Taylor, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.S.A.MThe Delivery of Office-Based Addiction Treatment (OBOT) in the 21st Century

ADMH can pay the registration fee only. To have your registration fee paid, complete the registration form and return it to Kathy House at no later than Feb. 24.


See also: Are You Interested in Becoming a DATA-Waived Physician?

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BCBS 2019 Circle of Care Summit for Primary Care Select Physicians, March 1-2

BCBS 2019 Circle of Care Summit for Primary Care Select Physicians, March 1-2


Primary Care Select Physicians may now register for the Circle of Care Summit, March 1-2, 2019, at The Westin Birmingham. Reserve your spot online today! This year’s event is being hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and co-hosted by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Alabama Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics, Alabama Academy of Family Physicians,  and Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation. All Primary Care Select physicians are encouraged to attend.

Topics include:

  • Restoring the Art of Healing: Palliative Care Communication Skills Enhancement
  • Evolution of Birmingham’s Innovation Ecosystem from the CEO of Innovation Depot
  • Risk Adjustment Essentials: Understanding the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) Model of Reimbursement
  • Future Trends in Primary Care
  • Don’t forget the Friday evening networking event at Topgolf

2019 Circle of Care Summit Agenda

Session topics and times are subject to change. Questions? Email for additional information about late registration and registration on site.

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New Learning Opportunities Available for County Societies

New Learning Opportunities Available for County Societies

The Medical Association is partnering with Warren Averett in 2019 to provide several topics that you can use to host events that will interest the physician members in your county, at no cost to you. Each talk lasts about 30 minutes and several can be combined for a 60-minute talk.

MACRA/MIPS Refresher. MACRA is now in year three and the law is still changing. This presentation will cover the new areas to address, and what is in the pipeline for years to come.

What Does the New Federal Tax Law Mean to Physicians?  The new tax law affects all taxpayers, but this presentation will center around how the law affects physicians and the items that need to be addressed to minimize your personal tax.

Customer Service in the Medical Practice. Medical practice patients have increasing expectations about their medical care and plenty of options for where to obtain care. The practices where excellence in care is delivered can be selective about which patients to accept and which problem patients to release. The secret to getting highest ratings from patients is often not found in the quality of care you provide. We will share what gets you a 5-star rating and how you can put the processes in place to make raving fans out of your patients and referral sources.

How Can You Increase Employee Morale? Unemployment is at an all-time low, other practices and local employers are bidding at higher pay rates to get your top talent, and younger employees change jobs with greater frequency than older staff. Unless you are willing to pay at the highest wage rate in town, you must cultivate a culture where high morale prevails among your staff. What are the ways other practices are retaining good staff by encouraging fun and a family atmosphere in the workplace?

To book a speaker for your next event, contact Meghan Martin at or call (334) 954-2500. CME credit is not provided for these opportunities.  

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Three Steps to Implement a Diabetes Prevention Strategy for Your Patients

Three Steps to Implement a Diabetes Prevention Strategy for Your Patients

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been rising over the past 20 years. Based upon statistics on current health trends from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 30 million adult Americans have diabetes1, or approximately 10 percent of the adult population.

Even more adults are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes; the CDC estimates that currently 84 million adult Americans have prediabetes1, a condition in which glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes can be a reversible condition and treating it can delay or prevent progression to type 2 diabetes. However, the majority of adults who have prediabetes are unaware of their condition.2

The National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program (National DPP lifestyle change program) is a structured, year-long program that has been proven to help patients delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. Over the past few years, the CDC, the American Medical Association (AMA), and healthcare organizations across the nation have worked together to bring National DPP lifestyle change programs to patients.

The following three steps can help you identify patients with prediabetes and refer them to a National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program.

Step 1:  Identify patients with prediabetes

Prediabetes can be diagnosed through one of three laboratory tests:

The hemoglobin A1C, the fasting plasma glucose or the oral glucose tolerance test. The diagnostic ranges for normal glucose, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are in the figure below3:


Risk factors for prediabetes mirror those of type 2 diabetes and include a BMI that is consistent with overweight or obesity, among others. The United States Preventive Services Task Force has a screening recommendation4 for abnormal glucose in adults, or you can use an alternative screening protocol. For patients who have had a recent laboratory test, you can use your electronic health record or laboratory reports to identify those who meet the diagnostic criteria for prediabetes. Once patients with prediabetes have been identified, patients should be informed of their diagnosis, either during their next office visit or through an established notification process. This diagnosis should be documented in their chart, you can use the ICD10 code R73.03 to document prediabetes.

Step 2: Provide patients with evidence-based treatment

The National Diabetes Prevention program lifestyle change program is an effective and evidence-based treatment for patients with prediabetes that has been proven to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes5. The program is an intensive lifestyle change program that can be delivered in-person, through distance learning or through virtual modalities. Individuals participate in group sessions led by a trained lifestyle coach that take place on an approximate weekly basis for the first few months of the program and then transition into a maintenance phase, which consists of sessions approximately once a month. The curriculum is comprehensive and gives participants the knowledge and skills to make sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. The curriculum includes topics on healthy diet and physical activity, as well as stress management and behavioral strategies to make lasting changes. The CDC provides oversight and quality assurance of the National DPP lifestyle change program and maintains standards for program sites to receive approval and recognition. You can find program locations near you on the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program website.

Step 3: Monitor and follow-up

If you refer patients to a National DPP lifestyle change program, it is recommended that you monitor their progress and follow-up on their outcomes to help support them. A process should be established with the provider of the National DPP lifestyle change program to share regular updates about participation and achievement of goals for patients in the program. It is recommended that communication occur at designated points during the program. This will also allow you to arrange any appropriate follow-up visits or repeat laboratory testing for patients.

By using these three steps, you can help your patients reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and make them aware of the National DPP lifestyle change program. As a result, you empower your patients to improve their health and provide them with the skills and strategies to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

For more information, consult the Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit, which includes patient identification/management protocols, referral templates and patient awareness and education materials.

Your participation in a brief survey regarding this article on prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes would be greatly appreciated. To complete the survey, use the link below…

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  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States. Accessed October 1, 2018
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Awareness of prediabetes-United States, 2005-2010, MMWR, Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2013;62(11) 209-12.
  2. American Diabetes Association. Section 14. Diabetes Advocacy. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2016, Diabetes Care 2016:39(Suppl 1)S105-S106).
  3. Siu AL Peters JJ, Bibbins-Domingo K, Grossman D, et al.. Screening for abnormal blood glucose and type 2 diabetes mellitus: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163:861-8.
  4. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, et al. Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med. 2002; 346(6):393-403.

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MOC Update: Two Certification Programs Transition from Pilot to Permanent

MOC Update: Two Certification Programs Transition from Pilot to Permanent

Last year, the Medical Association worked to bring together physicians, medical organizations, state medical societies, hospitals, health systems, patients and the American Board of Medical Specialties to investigate the future of board certification. The first in-person meeting in March produced testimony on continuing certification from stakeholders who provided their perspectives and experiences with continuing certification, the challenges they currently face, and their thoughts about opportunities about the future. Now, the pilot certification programs for two medical specialty organizations has become permanent.

In May, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Anesthesiology each received notification from the ABMS that their respective Maintenance of Certification pilot programs have been made permanent options for specific members of their groups who reach specific standards.

American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

The MOC pilot program is now a permanent option for ABOG Diplomates. If Diplomates meet the high-performance threshold determined by ABOG on the Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment component in Years 1-6 of the MOC cycle, they can receive credit for meeting the MOC external assessment requirement. Diplomates must also continue to meet other MOC standards, including the annual MOC Professionalism and Professional Standing requirements. Upon entering Year 6, Diplomates will receive notification they qualify for the new pathway on their personal page in the ABOG physician portal if they have met all requirements. Diplomates that do not meet the eligibility requirements will continue to meet the external assessment standard by passing the MOC examination.

ABOG members can read the full statement here.

American Board of Anesthesiology, Inc.

The American Board of Anesthesiology’s MOCA Minute pilot is now a permanent component of the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology™ (MOCA®) program. MOCA Minute launched in 2014 as a web-based tool that was expanded in 2016 to include most Diplomates. In 2017 those maintaining subspecialty certificates began participating as well. Diplomates answer 30 multiple-choice questions online each calendar quarter (120 per year) at their convenience. Their questions are customized based on which certificate(s) physicians are maintaining and their practice profile, which they fill out indicating the focus of the clinical practice. Upon answering questions, they learn immediately if their answers are correct and see the rationale, a critique and links to learning resources related to the questions.

ABA members can read the full statement here.

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AG Steve Marshall Speaks at November Education Weekend

AG Steve Marshall Speaks at November Education Weekend

BIRMINGHAM – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall addressed attendees during the Association’s Annual Medical Ethics seminar on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham and helped kick off one of the largest weekends of educational offerings the Association has hosted since 2014.

The weekend began on Friday, Nov. 17, with Ensuring Quality in the Collaborative Practice and Medical Ethics courses. This was the first time an attorney general has spoken to the participants.

By Saturday, Nov. 18, the room was filled with more than 430 participants for the final Prescribing of Controlled Drugs and Controversies of Pharmacology Prescribing course of 2017. The Association’s opioid prescribing courses began in 2009 and is offered at least three times annually. By the end of 2017, more than 5,000 participants – from physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners – had taken the course.

The Prescribing course will return in 2018 on March 17-18, August 3-5 and November 17-18. More information will be available at a later date.

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