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TennCare's Opioid Strategy

TennCare has long worked to confront the impacts of opioid misuse and abuse. Going forward, we plan to implement additional strategies as we recognize the growing complexity of this problem in our state.

  • Reducing the risk of TennCare members becoming newly dependent or addicted to opioids;
  • Increasing patient engagement, early detection of dependence, and evidence-based pain treatment for TennCare members chronically using opioids;
  • Increase outreach to women of child bearing age chronically using opioids to provide education and treatment options;
  • Further remove barriers to access for Voluntary Reversible Long-Acting Contraceptive (IUD’s and implants) for women; and
  • Supporting high-quality addiction and recovery treatment services for TennCare members who are dependent, misusing, or abusing opioids and other substances.

This page will include important documents and information regarding TennCare’s opioid strategy.

Buprenorphine Enhanced Medication Assisted and Recovery Treatment (BESMART) program

For more information on the recent changes for BESMART Providers and the buprenorphine coverage benefit for members (effective April 15, 2021), please see the resources below:

BESMART Buprenorphine Dosage Changes [Webinar Slides]

BESMART Buprenorphine Dosage Changes [Full Recording]

BESMART Program Description

*The Program Description content is the same for all MCOs.




Please complete the form if you are interested in becoming a BESMART provider. Completion of the provider interest form does NOT guarantee contracting with the Managed Care Organizations.

BESMART Provider Interest Form

Webinars & Presentations

May 2018: MAT Webinar Series

Buprenorphine MAT Webinar Slides

[Webinar A] Buprenorphine MAT Webinar

[Webinar B] Buprenorphine MAT Webinar

MAT Program Contact Information

December 2018: MAT Webinar Series

Buprenorphine MAT Network: Program Updates [Webinar Slides]

Buprenorphine MAT Network- Program Updates [Webinar Recording]

August 2020: NP & PA Prescribing Guidance Webinars

CMHC FQHC Guidance

OBOT Guidance

April 2021: BESMART Webinar

BESMART Buprenorphine Dosage Changes [Webinar Slides]

BESMART Buprenorphine Dosage Changes [Full Recording]

Methadone MAT Information

TennCare coverage of methadone for Opioid Use Disorder begins on June 1, 2020. The Program Description and Billing Methodology is the same for all MCOs.

Methadone Program Description

Methadone Billing Information

NAS Materials for MAT Providers

NAS Education Material for MAT Providers

TennCare Changes to the Coverage of Opioid Effective January 16, 2018:

Effective January 16, 2018, TennCare will implement an edit on agents in the Short-Acting and Long-Acting Narcotics classes of the Preferred Drug List (PDL) that will impact all first-time and non-chronic opioid users.

TennCare Opioid Strategy Letter

Pharmacy Provider Notice

MCO Physician and Provider Notice

For more information regarding the benefit limit change, please visit OptumRxs website. OptumRx is TennCare’s pharmacy benefit manager and its website hosts a Frequently Asked Questions document, a MME Prior Authorization Form and other useful resources for providers.