Using a Patient-Doctor Treatment Agreement During Buprenorphine Treatment

Discussing rules and expectations is an important step when starting a patient on buprenorphine treatment. Some providers choose to use a printed doctor-patient treatment agreement that clearly spells out the rules and terms of treatment. Such a document protects both the patient and the provider; it explains privacy and confidentiality and outlines the patient's responsibilities in treatment, as well as the consequences for breaking the rules of the treatment agreement.

When writing a treatment agreement, be sure to spell out the offenses that are allowable to some extent (e.g., a patient who misses one appointment can continue in treatment) and those that are not allowable (e.g., a patient who steals from or vandalizes the office will be discharged from treatment).

Related Resources: 
Patient contract that can be used to set expectations and guidelines before beginning buprenorphine treatment.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Physician stage in practice: 
Commonly Used Forms: