Last Updated: July 2015
Author: Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health
The state-level indicator is measured by the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) a project between the state departments of health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Reproductive Health. The purpose of PRAMS is to collect state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experience before, during and shortly after pregnancy.
The vast majority of women in Vermont abstain from illicit drug use during pregnancy (94%, 2010), due to very successful national campaigns about the risk of harm to the baby. Likewise, obstetrical providers and midwives routinely screen for drug use and offer referral, counseling, and treatment, when required.
The Vermont Child Health Improvement Program's (VCHIP) Improving Care for Opioid-Exposed Newborns (ICON) project partners with the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs (VDH - ADAP) and the UVM Children's Hospital to study the quality of care provided to Medicaid-eligible opioid-dependent women and their opioid-exposed newborns and implements various activities targeted to improving the care these populations receive across the State.
The ICON team trains and educates health professionals and others who provide services to VT Medicaid-eligible, opioid-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their infants. ICON convenes collaborative conference calls; provides training sessions for professionals; and provides tools and resources relating to substance abuse screening, treatment and service provision to partners across Vermont including but not limited to community hospital teams, primary care practitioners, non-profit organizations and MCH directors. ICON maintains a database relating to opioid-dependent pregnant women and their opioid-exposed infants. Through data collection and analysis, ICON follows several measures (e.g., length of stay for infants, percentage of infants receiving treatment, length of treatment, rate of prematurity, and developmental outcomes). These and other data provide the framework used to assess the impact of ICON's work, identify gaps in care and continuously improve our efforts. In addition to engaging in a project focusing on improving care delivered in UVM Children's Hospital's NeoMed Clinic, ICON recently identified eight "Potentially Better Practices" (PBPs) and disseminated them to community hospital teams statewide who care for Medicaid-eligible, opioid-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their infants. ICON offers quality improvement coaching to support the work of Vermont community hospital teams who have chosen a PBP to plan, implement and study.