The guidelines provide recommendations on the use of MAT across treatment phases with an emphasis on the maintenance phase. Most of the guidelines were developed based upon expert opinion and scientific literature. Some guidelines focus on special populations and over half mention psychosocial treatment. The strength of the recommendation varies from general recommendations to provide psychosocial treatment to suggestions of specific types of psychosocial treatment. The variation in the evidence supporting the guidelines, along with differences in the specificity of the guidelines' recommendations, may present challenges to the development and positioning of measures. Existing measures related to MAT largely focus on receipt of FDA-approved medications over a specified period. None of the identified MAT for opioid use measures assesses the use of pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatment. The lack of consensus regarding specific evidence-based psychosocial treatments effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders may contribute to the dearth of quality measures; however, it could also indicate a gap and an opportunity for improving the appropriate use of MAT.
In the next phase of this project, we will use the information gathered to date to identify potential measure concepts and the steps needed to develop the concepts into measures that meet NQF endorsement standards. The selection of the most appropriate guideline(s) to inform development of the measures may depend on the projected treatment setting, phase of treatment, and target population.