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CMS Leverages Medicaid Program to Combat Opioid Crisis

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two new resources for states to leverage their Medicaid programs to help fight the opioid crisis.

In an informational bulletin, the agency outlines the role of Medicaid in the care of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The bulletin includes background information on the diagnosis and treatment of NAS, including recommendations for appropriate treatment and continuity of care for infants displaying symptoms. It then describes Medicaid coverage options for infants with NAS, which might differ based on the severity of each case and the appropriate care setting.

Separately, in a letter to state Medicaid directors, CMS provides guidance on what funding authorities states might use to support efforts to combat the opioid crisis using Medicaid technology. The funding authorities outlined could help states develop or enhance:

  • prescription drug monitoring programs;
  • advanced analytics and public health data;
  • technologies for coordinating care and increasing access to care; and
  • statewide interoperability

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a former policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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