Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment Among Pregnant and Postpartum Medicaid Enrollees


Opioid use dysfunction (OUD) is a protracted treatable scientific situation affecting birthing folks throughout all racial and ethnic teams, socioeconomic categories, and geographic places. With out remedy, opioid use in being pregnant can lead to critical damaging well being results for the fetus and the birthing dad or mum similar to greater chance for a stillbirth, pregnancy complications including preterm labor, and dying. Medicines for OUD (MOUD) – together with methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone – scale back antagonistic results for each the birthing dad or mum and kid. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends using medicines, particularly opioid agonists (extra main points under), to regulate pregnant ladies with OUD and advises for endured remedy in the course of the postpartum length. Complete maintain pregnant and postpartum ladies with OUD comprises same old prenatal and postpartum care, contraceptive counseling, and the co-prescribing of naloxone and overdose coaching.

As a big supply of protection for maternity care (protecting 42% of all births), and protecting an even larger share of girls with OUD, and the one largest payer for behavioral health services , Medicaid is especially smartly located to facilitate access to OUD treatment. Drawing at the 2016-2019 Medicaid claims knowledge from the Reworked Medicaid Statistical Data Methods (T-MSIS), this temporary appears on the charges of clinically documented OUD in pregnant and postpartum ladies in addition to the proportion of recognized ladies who obtain MOUD remedy. The research additionally explores disparities in scientific analysis and remedy according to demographics, similar to race/ethnicity and age, at the side of geographical variations. Variations in clinically documented OUD and remedy charges throughout more than a few demographics and areas be offering perception to assist tell ongoing coverage conversations geared toward bettering get entry to to OUD remedy for pregnant and postpartum folks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Research of Medicaid claims representing births from 2017 and 2018 in 39 states with usable knowledge presentations 2.7% of pregnant or postpartum Medicaid enrollees had scientific documentation of opioid use dysfunction of their scientific claims. That is slightly higher than adults general (2.0%) and lower than the adolescent and nonelderly grownup (12+) Medicaid inhabitants clinically recognized with OUD (3.3%). There was once really extensive variation within the charges by means of states, starting from a low of 0.4% in Nebraska to a top of 12.4% in Vermont.
  • On reasonable, 55% of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees with documented opioid use dysfunction gained drugs as a part of their care. Drugs remedy charges for pregnant or postpartum Medicaid enrollees with a documented OUD various considerably with a low of nineteen% in Kansas to a top of 79% in Maine.
  • More youthful pregnant or postpartum enrollees had a clinically documented OUD price (1.6%) that was once part of the ones ages 26 to 34 (3.7%) and 35 years and older (3.1%). More youthful enrollees gained remedy at relatively decrease charges with 48% getting drugs in comparison to over 55% amongst those that had been elderly 26 and older.
  • In a subset of 24 states with to be had knowledge, White pregnant or postpartum Medicaid enrollees had clinically documented OUD charges 5 instances greater than Black enrollees (5.5% vs 1.1%, respectively). Clinically documented charges had been the bottom amongst Hispanic enrollees (0.6%). Racial and ethnic disparities persist within the receipt of MOUD. In comparison to Hispanic and White enrollees, smaller stocks of Black enrollees with a documented OUD gained MOUD right through the perinatal length (53-57% vs. 31% respectively).
  • State rules that take a punitive method towards substance use right through being pregnant might give a contribution to decrease OUD identity and decrease remedy charges could also be attributable partly to Medicaid usage controls, prior authorization necessities, and burdensome administrative insurance policies.

How are Medicines for Opioid Use Dysfunction (MOUD) Used to Deal with Opioid Used Dysfunction All over the Perinatal Duration?

Because the Seventies, ACOG has recommended that MOUD, together with behavioral well being interventions, serves as the usual remedy for opioid habit right through the perinatal length. MOUD supplies stabilization by means of decreasing withdrawal signs and the damaging well being results related to opioid use. There are a number of other Meals and Drug Management-approved choices for MOUD (Desk 1). Methadone and buprenorphine are protected and effective in treating OUD in being pregnant and strengthen the adherence to plain prenatal care. Naltrexone is some other remedy possibility for OUD, however it’s hardly prescribed right through being pregnant as a result of there are few research demonstrating its effectiveness, except for in limited cases. Whilst behavioral well being interventions are inspired as a complement to MOUD, we don’t speak about them intimately within the present research.

With out remedy, opioid use in being pregnant can lead to critical damaging well being results similar to fetal misery, intrauterine growth restrictions and in the end, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or opioid withdrawal at beginning. Pregnant and postpartum folks with untreated OUD also are at greater chance for a stillbirth, pregnancy complications including preterm labor, and dying. Significantly, opioids performed a task in 1 in 10 pregnancy-associated deaths in 2016. Despite the fact that scientific tips counsel using MOUD for pregnant and postpartum folks with OUD, maximum pass untreated. Prior research point out that handiest 50-60% of pregnant ladies in the USA obtain any MOUD right through being pregnant. Along with this remedy hole, racial and ethnic disparities had been reported within the receipt of MOUD. Pregnant ladies of colour are much less prone to obtain any drugs to regard OUD.

What are the Charges and Traits of Pregnant and Postpartum Enrollees with a Clinically Documented OUD?

Amongst ladies with a Medicaid funded are living beginning in 2017 and 2018, 2.7% or 65,092 enrollees had a clinically documented OUD (Determine 1). That is slightly higher than adults general (2.0%) and less than the nonelderly adolescent and grownup (12+) Medicaid inhabitants (3.3%). For this research, any analysis or prescription code that means the presence of an OUD is outlined as a “clinically documented OUD.” Despite the fact that, other Medicaid research the usage of claims knowledge display equivalent charges of maternal OUD, research that adjusts for underreporting unearths upper charges. Positive elements might result in underreporting or reluctance to expose drug use, which in flip can lead to an irony of OUD in claims knowledge. Stigma and issues about criminal retribution may make pregnant and postpartum ladies extra cautious about disclosing their opioid use to clinicians. Suppliers could also be hesitant to document the analysis within the information in any respect because of issues about whether or not documentation may violate the privacy rules in position that offer coverage for other people receiving any type of SUD remedy. For those causes, this measure will have to now not be used as a metric to outline the whole incidence of OUD a number of the pregnant and postpartum Medicaid inhabitants as a result of now not everyone seems to be screened and diagnoses don’t seem to be all the time recorded, however it does supply some perception into how frequently OUD is known and in all probability handled in scientific settings.

Charges of clinically documented OUD in pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees range extensively from state to state. For example, Vermont has the very best percentage of clinically documented OUD (a discovering aligning with different KFF work), with 12.4% of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees having a clinically documented OUD. Against this, Nebraska information the bottom price of recognized OUD, with fewer than 1% of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees having a clinically documented OUD (Determine 1). Charges of recognized OUD range throughout state, now not handiest on account of incidence, but in addition on account of different elements similar to provider screening behavior, variation in Medicaid protection of SUD services and state rules criminalizing maternal drug use.

State rules that take a punitive method towards substance use right through being pregnant might give a contribution to decrease OUD analysis and remedy. State regulation bearing on drug use right through being pregnant typically falls into punitive or supportive classes. Punitive rules categorize prenatal drug use as a type of kid abuse or forget and necessitate healthcare pros file those cases to state kid welfare companies. Those rules might deter pregnant other people from in quest of same old prenatal care, substance use remedy, and building up fear and concern over the prospective lack of custody in their kids because of the involvement of kid welfare companies. On the other hand, supportive drug use legislations try to prioritize pregnant and postpartum other people’s get entry to to remedy. Skilled teams, similar to ACOG and ASAM, oppose using insurance policies and practices that criminalize drug use in being pregnant and suggest for complete and evidence-based care.

Higher stocks of White pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees and the ones over the age of 25 had a documented OUD in comparison to Black and Hispanic pregnant and postpartum enrollees and the ones age 25 and more youthful. OUD is documented 5 instances extra within the claims of White enrollees, with 5.5% having a clinically documented OUD, in comparison to round 1% of Black and Hispanic enrollees. As well as, clinically documented OUD was once extra not unusual amongst enrollees who had been 26 and older (3.7% between 26-34 years outdated and three.1% for the ones 35 years and older), in comparison to the ones elderly 25 or more youthful (1.6%) (Determine 2). The charges at which OUD is recognized and documented can fluctuate amongst populations because of a number of elements. Except for the real incidence of the situation, those diversifications can stem from unequal access to prenatal care, inconsistencies in how suppliers display for the dysfunction, and heightened stigma for positive teams that can magnify repercussions of admitting drug use.

What Share of Pregnant and Postpartum Ladies with a Clinically Documented OUD Gained MOUD Remedy?

Total, simply over part (55%) of enrollees gained MOUD as a part of their care (Determine 3). In spite of a bit of greater than part of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees with a clinically documented OUD appearing receipt of MOUD remedy, that is nonetheless most likely an overestimate of remedy get entry to. Analysis means that OUD prevalence is most likely upper than what’s reported in claims data. But, the choice of other people receiving MOUD remedy is most probably quite correct. Due to this fact, the proportion of enrollees with opioid use dysfunction – whether or not documented in claims knowledge or now not – who obtain remedy is most likely less than 55%.

State remedy charges of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees with a documented OUD additionally range considerably. States the place greater than 60% of enrollees with a clinically documented OUD gained MOUD incorporated Northeastern states (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, DE) and WA, NM, WI, and OH. Alternatively, in KS, lower than 1 in 5 gained MOUD. Please confer with Methods and Appendix 2 for more info.

Charges of MOUD remedy range throughout states on account of elements similar to Medicaid utilization controls and variation in engagement in public well being tasks like the advance of perinatal collaboratives that specialize in OUD right through the perinatal length or the receipt of SAMHSA grants. Utilization control measures, like prior authorization, form the get entry to and availability of MOUD and could be a barrier to care, in particular if prior authorization denial rates are top. Those measures come with prior authorization, amount limits, step remedy, and psychosocial remedy necessities. Along with prior authorization necessities, some states even have further administrative requirements, which might come with random drug screenings or tablet counts, necessary counseling necessities, and most day by day doses.

Moreover, MOUD usage and adherence are suffering from remedy issues and shortage of women- focused systems. Prior research unearths that pregnant and postpartum people specific issues about loss of autonomy of their resolution to start up MOUD and feature felt harassed from clinicians, in the end impacting their dedication to remedy. Different pregnant and postpartum people voice issues about their babies creating NAS and the greater scrutiny they might obtain from healthcare body of workers. Finally, postpartum folks have highlighted that remedy environments for MOUD don’t seem to be accommodating to their distinctive wishes. As a result of methadone and buprenorphine are topic to federal and state restrictions proscribing their accessibility, postpartum folks have highlighted the difficulties in keeping up adherence with competing childcare tasks. Different demanding situations affecting adherence within the postpartum length come with value, transportation, loss of endured healthcare protection after supply, and lack of treatment centers and clinicians offering MOUD. Research has proven that women-centered systems – systems that supply services and products adapted to ladies’s distinctive wishes – have upper retention charges and discounts in substance use, and less reported obstacles to care.

Black ladies with a recognized OUD had been much less prone to obtain MOUD right through prenatal or postpartum classes (31%) in comparison to Hispanic and White ladies (53-57% respectively). On the other hand, remedy charges had been equivalent between White and Hispanic pregnant and postpartum enrollees. Analysis means that structural racism could also be related to decrease requirements of care, fewer remedy choices, and better charges of prosecution of girls of colour, particularly Black ladies. Black ladies who use medicine are more likely to be reported to kid welfare companies and drug examined than different ladies. Those elements might make ladies of colour much less prone to expose opioid use and give a contribution to decrease remedy charges. Moreover, the absence of a diverse healthcare workforce might lead to reluctance to hunt or proceed remedy. Prior research have additionally drawn consideration to the limited diversity of personnel in outpatient substance use remedy settings. Moreover, the present wisdom base will not be reflective of the reports of girls of colour, with previous research noting that White ladies with an OUD made up maximum in their pattern. Relating to age, pregnant and postpartum ladies 26 years and older (56-57%) with recognized OUD had been much more likely to obtain MOUD remedy in comparison to the ones 25 years outdated and more youthful (48%) (Determine 4).

What Adjustments had been made on the Federal and State Degree to Toughen Pregnant and Postpartum Folks Identified with Opioid Use Dysfunction?

Lately, state and federal governments have undertaken further movements to deal with gaps in remedy, prevention, and restoration of substance use dysfunction services and products. In 2018, the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT Act), a bipartisan regulation, was once handed that incorporated Medicaid provisions to make bigger analysis and services and products for pregnant ladies with OUD. On the identical time, CMS introduced the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model Initiative to deal with fragmentation within the care of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid enrollees with OUD. There are these days 8 states collaborating in this system and interventions focal point on carrier integration, coordination, and enlargement to in the end strengthen the associated fee, high quality, and get entry to to OUD services and products. In 2021, states got the approach to lengthen Medicaid postpartum coverage to twelve months within the American Rescue Plan Act and maximum states have carried out or plan to enforce a 12-month extension. This 12-month postpartum extension provides postpartum Medicaid enrollees extra time to obtain care, making sure longer get entry to to OUD remedy services and products. Extra just lately, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 resulted in the removing of extra registration necessities for the prescribing of buprenorphine (X waiver) to facilitate get entry to to buprenorphine suppliers; investment beef up to make bigger maternal psychological well being screening systems; upkeep of maternal psychological well being hotline; and established order of a maternal psychological well being process drive.

Having a look Forward

Despite the fact that federal insurance policies have aimed to strengthen get entry to to OUD, remedy gaps persist. Maximum just lately, the resumption of Medicaid renewals following a three-year pandemic halt – termed ‘Medicaid unwinding’ – has resulted in many people being dropped from Medicaid, basically because of procedural slightly than eligibility causes. Whilst some other people dropping Medicaid might have already got some other supply of protection or have the ability to transition to some other type of insurance coverage just like the Inexpensive Care Act market, different pregnant and postpartum women who qualify for Medicaid thru pathways rather then a present or recent being pregnant might enjoy protection loss. This type of loss might disrupt remedy for OUD, increasing overdose dangers, particularly in the middle of the continuing fentanyl crisis. If Medicaid unwinding protection losses disproportionately affect other people of colour, it might accentuate current racial and ethnic disparities in access to MOUD.

The authors wish to recognize Mishka Terplan, MD, MPH, a Clinical Director at Pals Analysis Institute and adjunct college at College of California, San Francisco for his assessment of previous drafts of this temporary and the City Institute for his or her provision of the Behavioral Well being Services and products Set of rules (BHSA).


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