Medication for Addiction Treatment and Postpartum Health Care Utilization Among Pregnant Persons With Opioid Use Disorder

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2022


Obstetrics & Gynecology

Journal Title

Journal of addiction medicine

MeSH Headings

Buprenorphine (therapeutic use); Female; Humans; Opiate Substitution Treatment; Opioid-Related Disorders (drug therapy, epidemiology); Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Postpartum Period; Pregnancy; United States (epidemiology)


OBJECTIVE: To estimate treatment and postpartum health care utilization among pregnant persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) in Vermont and Maine. METHODS: Vermont's and Maine's All Payer Claims Databases were used to identify deliveries 2010 to 2018 that were paid for, in part, by Medicaid. OUD was identified among pregnant persons if they had any claim with an OUD-diagnosis code (ICD-9/10) or medication for addiction treatment (MAT) code during the 5 months before delivery event. Consistent and inconsistent MAT were compared to no MAT on the rate of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits in the first 12 months' postpartum using negative binomial regression. RESULTS: From 2010 through 2018, 27,652 deliveries in Vermont and 43,480 deliveries in Maine were among persons insured by Medicaid. The prevalence of OUD among pregnant persons increased from 6.7% to 11.6% in Vermont and from 7.4% to 11.0% in Maine. Among pregnant persons with OUD in 2018, 57% had consistent MAT in Vermont and 50% had consistent MAT in Maine; approximately 32% and 27% were not in treatment in Vermont and Maine, respectively. In Maine, consistent MAT was associated with a 47% lower rate of hospitalization and 37% to 46% lower rates of ED visits when compared to those without MAT; in Vermont, those with consistent buprenorphine treatment had a 30% lower rate of ED visits. CONCLUSIONS: Medicaid data from Vermont and Maine suggests that medication for addiction treatment for opioid use disorder during pregnancy reduces emergency health care utilization in the first year postpartum.

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