Tennessee lands $5.3M maternal opioid misuse federal grant

Friday, December 20, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 51

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has landed a $5.3 million federal grant that aims to address opioid misuse among expectant mothers and improve care for their affected children, the Division of TennCare announced Thursday.

TennCare plans to partner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to focus on the issue in 26 rural and urban counties.

Tennessee is one of 10 states to receive the Maternal Opioid Misuse Model grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Tennessee's initiative will focus on expectant mothers and their children beginning in pregnancy and extending to one year postpartum. The money covers a five-year performance period beginning in January.

The program aims to get the women engaged in treatment before and after pregnancy, use therapies to maximize the time they aren't using illicit substances, reduce infant hospital stays to keep them with their biological mothers as much as possible, and connect to early intervention services for the children.