Maternal Opioid Misuse Model

In the last decade, a disturbing trend has emerged in Colorado. In place of postpartum hemorrhage and eclampsia related deaths, behavioral health conditions are now the leading cause of maternal mortality. While Colorado's maternal population has been greatly impacted by the increase in maternal morbidity and mortality associated with behavioral health disorders, recent changes in the Colorado delivery system can make improving these outcomes more feasible. The latest iteration of the Department's Accountable Care Collaborative aligns the administration of physical and behavioral health services under one entity -- the Regional Accountable Entity (RAE) -- to improve member health and reduce costs. 

In December 2019, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing was awarded the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to bring this model to Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program). This model was created to better support pregnant and postpartum Medicaid members with opioid use disorders (OUDs).

Given the unique needs and existing efforts in communities across Colorado, the Department's approach for the MOM model supports local providers while building statewide capacity to serve pregnant and parenting people with OUD and their infants. This $4.6 million model provides two components of support for integrating care:

  1. regionally specific sub-grants for integrating SUD treatment into primary and obstetric care sites that are appropriate to their community, and 
  2. technical assistance to sub-grantees through a learning collaborative model.  

MOM Model Subgrantees 

The Department is excited to announce our two MOM Model subgrantees: Denver Health (Denver, CO) and River Valley Family Health Centers (Montrose, CO).

Applying for a sub-grant 

In 2021, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing invited RAEs, OB/GYN and/or SUD providers, clinics, and any other interested partners to apply to be a MOM model subgrantee. If you are interested in learning more about future opportunities to apply for MOM Model funding, please sign up for our newsletter here.

MOM Health Equity Atlas

In the past two years, the implementation of the MOM model has highlighted important barriers and challenges for providing integrated care for pregnant and parenting people with substance use disorder (SUD) across Colorado. An overarching disparity across the model is access to care, especially when considering geography. Rural Coloradans must travel further, spend more money, and be more flexible when it comes to seeking care leading to transportation challenges, inaccessible resources, delays in care, and a lack of community support. In addition, the layered complexities of an SUD (e.g. physical and mental health realities, fear of stigma and judgment, and child welfare involvement) further complicate pregnant and parenting people's ability to seek and receive care. The impacts of these barriers are evident as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) increased by 83% from 2010-2015 in Colorado (with higher rates in Southern Colorado), and from 2011-2016, it increased by 120% . 1 While there are many efforts to address these problems, the work of different departments, organizations, and programs can be overlapping and disparate, providing some communities with duplicate resources and leaving others without any. 

The MOM Health Equity Atlas aims to comprehensively assess the resources available to pregnant and parenting people with an SUD in rural Colorado to understand the scope, breadth, and depth of resources and providers. The project will outline both the need and burden of SUD, with particular attention to opioid use disorders (OUD). The goal is to create an accessible and dynamic atlas that comprehensively documents pregnant and parenting people‚Äôs experiences across Colorado. Ultimately, it will help inform long-term plans and guide future interventions and policy decisions. 

To develop this atlas we are interested in working with stakeholders like community members, providers, organizations, workgroups, committees, members, and other relevant departments. If you are interested in providing more information on resources available in your community, please fill out this form or contact Molly Kadota.

Additional Information

For any general questions or comments about the MOM grant, please contact the MOM Model Program Coordinator, Anoushka Millear. If you are interested in learning more about MOM services available in Denver or Montrose, please contact Anoushka Millear. 

To receive updates on the MOM Grant, please sign-up for the MOM Grant Newsletter. The newsletter will contain information on the application process, MOM Model updates, and more.

Additional information regarding this grant: