DHHS announces new program to help pregnant Mainers and new parents with opioid use disorder

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 3:08 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the launch of the Maine Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) program, which aims to improve care for pregnant Mainers and new parents who are struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD) along with their infants.

As of July 1, a total of 17 health care sites across Maine began delivering MaineMOM services based on a “no wrong door” system to screening, welcoming, and engaging people in care. The launch of MaineMOM also includes, a website with information on available services, where to find them, and how to access services through the MaineMOM program.

“DHHS is proud to launch MaineMOM to provide Mainers struggling with opioid use disorder compassionate and effective support during pregnancy and through their infants’ crucial first year of life,” said Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “Our partners in this exciting project will improve the health of infants and their parents through counseling, treatment, and other services, which will ultimately reduce the cost of their care.”

The MaineMOM program is funded by a five-year grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and fills a critical need for Maine families, communities, and providers. Data have shown that consistent engagement in substance use treatment during pregnancy is associated with a lower rate of hospitalizations and emergency department visits after birth.

The MaineMOM program is also key to DHHS’ goal of building a statewide system of evidence-based and comprehensive care for people with substance use disorders through MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid health coverage program for low-income residents.

Additionally, the program builds on DHHS’ efforts to improve infant and child health, including the Safe Sleep Maine initiative, transforming Maine’s child welfare system, and support for Maine families in the Child Care Plan for Maine.

The DHHS Office of MaineCare Services (OMS) aims to engage at least 200 people in MaineMOM services and expand service locations in the coming year, with the goal to increase access to high-quality treatment while reducing health care costs. Health care providers who are interested in learning how to coordinate and integrate substance use treatment and maternal health care for pregnant people and new parents living with SUD and their children can find information on the OMS website.

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