HHS announces new payment model to help mothers addicted to opioids

Saying the opioid abuse crisis needs a multifaceted approach and innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced a new payment system aimed at better addressing addiction among pregnant women and their exposed infants. 

Under the “Maternal Opioid Misuse”—or MOM—model, Azar said the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will partner with state Medicaid agencies to integrate a wide range of services for pregnant and postpartum women, Azar said. For example, it will help state Medicaid programs support pediatric counseling centers, he said. 

"This model is also part of our efforts to move to value-based care, which will include focusing on prevention and the critical health needs of children, families and communities," Azar said, speaking at the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit in D.C. on Tuesday.

The announcement came just a day before a White House ceremony during which President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign a massive opioid package passed by Congress last month.

Earlier this month, Azar and First Lady Melania Trump visited Thomas Jefferson University Hospital In Philadelphia to meet with families of children affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb.