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Frank JW, Bohnert ASB, Sandbrink F, McGuire M, Drexler K. Implementation and Policy Recommendations from the VHA State-of-the-Art Conference on Strategies to Improve Opioid Safety. Journal of general internal medicine. 2020 Dec 1; 35(Suppl 3):983-987.
Evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorder, the prevention of opioid overdose and other opioid-related harms, and safe and effective pain management are priorities for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VHA Office of Health Services Research and Development hosted a State-of-the-Art Conference on "Effective Management of Pain and Addiction: Strategies to Improve Opioid Safety" on September 10-11, 2019. This conference convened a multidisciplinary group to discuss and achieve consensus on a research agenda and on implementation and policy recommendations to improve opioid safety for Veterans. Participants were organized into three workgroups: (1) managing opioid use disorder; (2) Long-term opioid therapy and opioid tapering; (3) managing co-occurring pain and substance use disorder. Here we summarize the implementation and policy recommendations of each workgroup and highlight important cross-cutting issues related to telehealth, care coordination, and stepped care model implementation.