Project OBOT advances to Project VBOT


Project Virtual-Based Opioid Treatment (VBOT) in North Carolina is a program developed by the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation. The Foundation’s overall mission is to improve and increase access to care for all North Carolinians.

Opioid Addiction is a treatable disease but it requires significant care coordination and collaboration among providers and care resources. Providers given proper training and surrounded by professionals to share in their patients' treatment strategies can successfully treat those suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). With the formation of Project VBOT(virtual based opioid treatment), the NC Medical Society Foundation(NCMSF) has established a coalition of organizations including: Governor’s Institute, NC Association of Local Health Directors, LabCorp, The Recovery Platform, UNC School of Public Health, Project Echo, MAHEC, and Mako Labs to facilitate the expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Over the past 4 years and three pilots, NCMSF has worked with our partners to establish what we believe is the best delivery methodology to reach those individuals in need of treatment regardless of their location and especially where access is lacking. A recent study found that more than 30 percent of counties across the country do not have any clinicians who can prescribe buprenorphine. In North Carolina, 14 counties do not have any providers who can prescribe buprenorphine, while eight counties have only one provider (NC Health News, by Clarissa Donnelly-DeRoven, June 6, 2022).

We have learned that the answer to greater access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is not only getting more providers to get trained and certified BUT to leverage technology and a collaborative care model (CoCM) to get care to those with OUD in rural areas. The project has renamed its initiative to Project VBOT (virtual based opioid treatment) and established a process for patients to get connected to VBOTs and providers to offer or join practices that perform VBOT.

Coalition Partners

The Facts

Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them and between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. Additionally, an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.

Daubresse M, Chang H, Yu Y, Viswanathan S, et al. Ambulatory diagnosis and treatment of nonmalignant pain in the United States, 2000 – 2010. Medical Care 2013; 51(10): 870-878.

Less than 3% of practicing, licensed physicians in the state of North Carolina have obtained the necessary certification to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

VBOT Focus

Patient Access

Patient Privacy

Collaborative Care

Treatment Retention

VBOT Actions

1. Network Development

Creation of a process to recruit and train clinicians to become or join a VBOT.

2. Referral Management

Direct patients who contact Project VBOT to a list of our VBOT practices for virtual care to treatment.

3. Community Education

Participate with our partners in outreach to community based organizations and healthcare providers on how they can help their neighbors access care.

4. BHI Integration

Work to expand access to behavioral health professionals by leveraging our Project VBOT technology and network of clinicians.

5. The VBOT Platform

Project VBOT will make available to clinicians the cutting-edge technology developed during our pilots

VBOT Goals

Increase Patient Access and Privacy

Toll-free number for self-referred treatment • Adoption of telemedicine • Decrease Recidivism 

Improve Patient Treatment Compliance

Increase Patient Engagement and Treatment Retention

Integration with PDMP system and data analysis

Randomized drug screens


• Extensive patient screening and enrollment process • Patient Self-scheduling technology • Single treatment platform for multidisciplinary care team members (Prescribers, Psychiatrist, Counselors, and Recovery Coaches) • Integration with labs and the controlled substance database • E-prescribing

Enhance Quality of Care

Analytical tools that expedite care decisions • Multidisciplinary support team for care collaboration • E-prescribing • Create Lab ordering Algorithms to assist with Clinical Decisions

Practice Revenue

Payer contracting, credentialing

Payer billing and Clinician payments provided

CoCM payments

Make available MAT care entry points for:

Hospitals • Rehab Centers • Public Health Clinics • Drug Courts, Jails, Prisons • Social Services • Schools • Churches • Physician Practices


Project VBOT is profiled in the AMA Manatt! Click here for the full Article

Understanding virtual care delivery is not ideal for everyone, it plays a critical role in areas where access to treatment is scarce. If your practice is not interested or cannot deliver all the required components, we can place you with a participating organization and become part of a care team. You can contribute as much or as little time as you wish, and you are compensated for every patient you treat.

Contact us and let us put you in a position to help fight this terrible disease.