WV Medicaid Now Covering Treatment for Opioid Dependent Babies

Feb 14, 2018

West Virginia will be the first state in the nation to allow Medicaid to fund treatment for newborns exposed to opioids in the womb.

When their exposure to opioids ends at birth, infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome experience withdrawal symptoms. They include tremors, vomiting, seizures, excessive crying and sensitivity to loud noises, lights and colors. Infants are weaned from opioid dependence by using small doses of morphine or methadone.

Lily’s Place in Huntington will be the first Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Center. While Lily’s Place already offers such treatment, the new designation will permit eligible families to use Medicaid. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the state Department of Health and Human Services approval late last week. 

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.