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Evaluating Maternal Opioid Misuse Initiative


  • Pregnant women who use opioids need access to comprehensive health services.
  • Abt and partners are evaluating efforts to address their medical/social needs.
  • Final results are expected in 2024.
The Challenge

The prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) among pregnant women and the incidence of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) due to in-utero exposure to opioids have soared over the past two decades. The prevalence of NOWS among infants enrolled in Medicaid, for example, increased nearly five-fold between 2004 and 2014, rising from 2.8 to 14.4 per 1,000 births. Existing care approaches fail to address many needs and risks. CMS' Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) initiative uses a coordinated care model to improve care.

The Approach

The team of Insight Policy Research, Abt, and Urban Institute is evaluating sites in 8 states to determine if the MOM models:

  • Improve quality and health outcomes while cutting costs.
  • Improve access to treatment, service delivery capacity, and infrastructure.
  • Create sustainable coverage and payment mechanisms.

The team is using qualitative data collection, including interviews and focus groups, and process and impact analysis. Abt is leading three sites, co-leading the process evaluation, and will analyze the site-reported data. One challenge: variations in awardee interventions.