New Eight-State Policy Academy Advances Access to Care for Pregnant/Parenting Women with SUD

Substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health conditions are prevalent among pregnant and parenting women in the United States, and they have far-reaching consequences for the health and well-being of women and their children. Integrated care models that support pregnant and parenting women’s physical and behavioral health and social service needs can improve outcomes for women and children and reduce health care costs.

Through the Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program (MCH PIP), funded by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (MCHB, HRSA), the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is working  with states to support and advance innovative policy initiatives that improve access to quality health care for pregnant and parenting women.

As part of the MCH PIP initiative, NASHP is convening  a two-year policy academy including eight state teams made up of representatives from state Medicaid agencies, public health agencies, mental health/substance use agencies, and other state stakeholders. States selected to participate in the first cohort of the NASHP policy academy include:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Over the next two years, these states will identify, promote, and advance innovative, state-level policy initiatives to improve access to care for Medicaid-eligible pregnant and parenting women with or at risk of SUD and/or mental health conditions. NASHP will work with the states to identify high-priority policy issues, challenges, and opportunities through targeted technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, analyses of policy issues, and development of policy briefs and other resources that will be disseminated nationally.

While many states have identified pregnant and parenting women as a priority population for their SUD and behavioral health efforts, challenges and opportunities persist. NASHP recently published two Issue Hubs that provide valuable resources, including information on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model. They are available at: