DHHR Receives CMS approval for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Services

Department of Health & Human Resources2/13/2018 | (See the original story)

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Medical Services has received approval from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) treatment services. This designation makes West Virginia the first state in the nation to receive such approval.

NAS is a generalized multisystem disorder that produces a constellation of symptoms in newborn babies when exposure to opioids is abruptly discontinued at birth. Infants with NAS require around-the-clock care during the first weeks of their lives to combat symptoms of withdrawal such as tremors, vomiting, seizures, excessive crying, and sensitivity to stimuli (e.g., loud noises, bright lights, bright colors) and to wean the infant from his or her dependence on opiates using small doses of morphine or methadone.

“West Virginia is facing an opioid epidemic like no other state is experiencing,” said Cindy Beane, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services. “This critical designation will allow us to treat the most vulnerable, innocent victims affected by this horrible crisis.”

Currently, Lily’s Place in Huntington is offering these services and now can be recognized by West Virginia Medicaid as a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Center.

The intent of the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Center is to reduce or prevent symptoms of withdrawal in newborns who have been prenatally exposed to addictive drugs using both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

Under the program, newborns with NAS would receive services to treat withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Comprehensive assessment to determine a plan of care
  • Low or reduced stimulus environment, slow introduction to sensory stimulation (both site and sound)
  • Pharmaceutical Withdrawal Management, with tapering protocol as referenced by the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Monitoring Withdrawal Objective Assessment, at least twice, daily
  • Non-Pharmacological Interventions, including but not limited to

– Therapeutic swaddling
– Vestibular stimulation/vertical rocking
– C-position
– Head-to-toe movements
– Clapping
– Exercise to relieve gas discomfort
– Newborn massage

Additional information can be found at:

Contact Information
Media contact: DHHRCommunications@wv.gov or (304) 558-7899

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