Press release

CMS model addresses opioid misuse among expectant and new mothers

CMS model addresses opioid misuse among expectant and new mothers
Goals are to improve quality of care, increase access to treatment based on state-specific needs, and reduce expenditures

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) model, an important step in advancing the agency’s multi-pronged strategy to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. The model addresses the need to better align and coordinate care of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD) through state-driven transformation of the delivery system surrounding this vulnerable population. By supporting the coordination of clinical care and the integration of other services critical for health, wellbeing, and recovery, the MOM model has the potential to improve quality of care and reduce expenditures for mothers and infants.

“Too many barriers impede the delivery of well-coordinated, high-quality care to pregnant and postpartum women struggling with opioid misuse, including lack of access to treatment and a shortage of providers in rural areas, where the opioid crisis is especially destructive,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The MOM model will support state Medicaid agencies, front-line providers and healthcare systems to help ensure that mothers and infants afflicted by the opioid epidemic get the care they need.”

Substance use-related illness and death is now a leading cause of maternal death.  Pregnant and postpartum women who misuse substances are at high risk for poor maternal outcomes, including preterm labor and complications related to delivery; these problems are frequently exacerbated by malnourishment, interpersonal violence, and other health-related social needs. Infants exposed to opioids before birth are at greater risk for negative health outcomes such as higher risk of being born preterm, having a low birth weight, and experiencing the effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a group of conditions caused when an infant withdraws from certain drugs s/he is exposed to in the womb. In addition, Medicaid pays the largest portion of hospital charges for maternal substance use, as well as a majority of the $1.5 billion annual cost of NAS. 

The primary goals of the model are to:

  • Improve quality of care and reduce expenditures for pregnant and postpartum women with OUD as well as their infants;
  • Increase access to treatment, service-delivery capacity, and infrastructure based on state-specific needs; and
  • Create sustainable coverage and payment strategies that support ongoing coordination and integration of care.

The CMS Innovation Center will execute up to 12 cooperative agreements with states, whose Medicaid agencies will implement the model with one or more “care-delivery partners” in their communities. The MOM model will serve pregnant Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries with OUD who have elected to participate, during the prenatal, peripartum (i.e., surrounding labor and delivery), and postpartum periods. Awardees will be responsible for ensuring that beneficiaries participating in the model have access to a set of essential physical and behavioral health services, such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD, maternity care, relevant primary care services, and other mental and behavioral health  services beyond MAT.

The MOM model will have a five-year period of performance with different types of funding. Specifically, implementation funding, transition funding, and the opportunity for milestone funding will be provided in three distinct model periods: Pre-implementation (Year 1), Transition (Year 2), and Full Implementation (Years 3-5).

Care delivery will begin in Year 2, or the Transition Period, of the model. During this year, funding for care-delivery services that are not otherwise covered by Medicaid will be provided by Innovation Center funds. By Year 3, the start of the Full Implementation Period, states must implement coverage and payment strategies. This overall structure seeks to balance rapid model initiation and state flexibility, while minimizing administrative burden. In particular, the MOM model design supports each awardee’s ability to quickly begin delivering coordinated and integrated care to pregnant and postpartum women with OUD during the Transition Period, while supporting states in developing a long-term coverage and payment strategy that aligns with their state Medicaid program.

CMS anticipates releasing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in early 2019 to solicit cooperative agreement applications to implement the MOM model. The state Medicaid agency will be expected to complete the application, which must demonstrate that it has partnered with at least one care-delivery partner. A maximum of $64.6 million will be available across up to 12 state awardees over the course of the five-year model. The NOFO will contain all model requirements and eligibility criteria for potential applicants.

In August, CMS announced the Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model, a child-centered local service delivery and state payment model aimed at reducing expenditures and improving the quality of care for children covered by Medicaid and CHIP through prevention, early identification, and treatment of priority health concerns like behavioral health challenges, including substance abuse.  The model will empower states and local providers to better address these needs through care integration across all types of healthcare providers. CMS anticipates releasing a NOFO for the InCK Model at the same time as it does for the MOM Model.

For more information, please visit https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/maternal-opioid-misuse-model/ or the fact sheet: https://www.cms.gov/sites/drupal/files/2018-10/10-23-2018%20Fact%20Sheet%20Maternal%20Opioid%20Misuse%20%28MOM%29%20Model%20%28FINAL%29_0.pdf

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