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Tennessee Receives Grant from Federal Government to Address Opioid Crisis

Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 03:29pm

TennCare recipient of the Maternal Opioid Misuse Model grant to combat opioid misuse among expectant mothers and improve care for children impacted by the crisis.

Nashville – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that Tennessee is one of 10 states to receive the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model grant.  The purpose of this Model is to assist states in combating the nation’s opioid crisis and address fragmentation in the care of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD).  

The Division of TennCare will partner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center as part of the MOM program focusing on 26 rural and urban counties to improve the outcomes for women with opioid use disorder and their infants beginning in pregnancy and extending to one year postpartum.  This will include the coordination of clinical care and the integration of other services critical for health, well-being, and recovery can improve the quality of care and reduce costs for mothers and infants impacted by opioid use. 

“The Maternal Opioid Misuse Model grant from CMS is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen TennCare’s efforts against the opioid crisis,” said Victor Wu, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for the Division of TennCare. “TennCare has been working hard to tackle the opioid crisis in our state and we are deeply committed to providing high-quality clinical care, substance abuse treatment, and recovery services to pregnant women during and after their pregnancy. Partnering with Vanderbilt University through the CMS MOM program will give us even more options to be innovative, coordinated, and comprehensive in meeting the needs of our moms and infants impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

Through this partnership TennCare and Vanderbilt University Medical Center will work to engage women with opioid use disorder in treatment before and after pregnancy, maximize periods of maternal abstinence from illicit substances using evidence-based therapies, optimize the number of days an infant is with their biological mother by reducing infant hospital stays (birth, readmission, emergency department visits), and ensure connection to early intervention services for infants.  The grant amount is approximately $5.3 million for a five-year performance period beginning January 2020. 

“Nationwide, the opioid crisis continues to take a toll on pregnant women and their infants, but the systems to care for them are fragmented and inconsistent,” said Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, director of the Center for Child Health Policy and associate professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “We are thrilled to be partnering with TennCare, community and state partners to create a new model of care focused on the specific needs of pregnant women and infants that will extend beyond the hospital walls.”

For additional information about the MOM Model, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/maternal-opioid-misuse-model/.

About TennCare

TennCare is the state of Tennessee’s Medicaid program which provides health insurance to approximately 1.4 million low-income Tennesseans including pregnant women, children, caretaker relatives of dependent children and older adults, and adults with disabilities.  With a satisfaction rating above 90 percent since 2009, TennCare provides health insurance, including long-term services and supports, through the use of managed care.   

About Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy

The Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy strives to improve the well-being of children and families through research that transforms clinical care and public health policy. CCHP is a multidisciplinary Center comprised of teams with expertise in neonatology, pediatrics, obstetrics, health policy, biostatistics, economics, implementation science and public health from across Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. CCHP focuses on conducting and disseminating salient children’s health research, informing evidence-based policy, and building partnerships between clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and the public.