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Addressing Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Care and Outcomes

Maternal mental conditions, including depression, anxiety, suicide, and overdose/poisoning related to substance use, are the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S (deaths occurring during pregnancy, delivery, and up to 1 year postpartum). And, almost all of these deaths are thought to be preventable. As the largest public payer of births nationwide,  Medicaid and CHIP programs have a significant role in enhancing systems of care to improve maternal and infant health, reduce preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, and support equitable outcomes for all.

CMS is pleased to launch new Maternal and Infant Health Initiative technical assistance opportunities focused on Addressing Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use (MMH/SUD): a content driven webinar series and an action-oriented affinity group.

During the Maternal Health Summer 2024 webinar series, attendees will hear about the precursors and life stressors contributing to mental health conditions, effective screenings, and interventions to improve maternal mental health and substance use conditions. Participants will learn from states agencies, federal partners, and subject matter experts about the unique solutions that Medicaid and CHIP programs can put in place to improve maternal mental health and SUD related health outcomes for both birthing people and newborns. The webinar series will also address maternal hypertension recognition and management.

The webinars series will begin in May 2024 and conclude in August 2024. CMS invites all interested staff from state Medicaid and CHIP agencies, along with their hospital and obstetrical providers, Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans, public health agencies, and other quality improvement partners, to take part in the summer 2024 maternal health webinar series. Register here for one or more of the webinars.

Addressing Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Affinity Group

Beginning in Fall 2024, CMS will convene an affinity group focused on addressing maternal mental health and substance use disorders. State teams, led by Medicaid or CHIP program staff, may consider joining this action-oriented affinity group and learn through affinity group workshops and one-on-one coaching, and work alongside peers focused on improvement projects in their states. CMS will also convene an affinity group focused on Improving Maternal Hypertension Control; for more information of that affinity group see below.

  • Coming soon! Improving Maternal Hypertension Control Affinity Group Fact Sheet

Informational Webinar:  Overview of the “Addressing Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use” and “Improving Maternal Hypertension Control” Affinity Groups and the Expression-of-Interest Process (Date: August 6, 2024, 2:00 pm ET) To register for this webinar, click here.


Please submit your questions to the QI technical assistance mailbox at  MedicaidCHIPQI@cms.hhs.gov.