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Hospitals selected for opioid treatment program

Staff Report //February 15, 2018//

Hospitals selected for opioid treatment program

Staff Report //February 15, 2018//

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Four South Carolina hospitals – Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville, Easley Baptist Hospital in Easley, Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia and Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill – have been selected to participate in a new program called Managing Abstinence in Newborns, or MAiN, a new treatment model for opioid-dependent newborns. 

Developed and piloted at the Greenville Health System, the therapy proactively targets symptoms associated with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a group of problems newborns experience when exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs while in the mother’s womb. The program features three key components: treatment for withdrawal in the newborns is started right away to reduce pain and health complications; the mom is allowed to room-in with the baby for a week to help provide care and gain parenting skills, and the baby continues to be weaned off the opioids at home, avoiding a lengthy hospital stay. 

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provided $1.2 million to support the initial pilot and analysis of the program at GHS and has designated $2.5 million over the next five years to expand the MAiN program to up to 10 additional hospitals across the state, including the initial four sites.

“The MAiN program is an excellent example of public health finance supporting private development and implementation of evidence-based health practices,” said Joshua Baker, Department of Health and Human Services director, in a news release. “While we’re still early in the project, this community-driven investment is producing better health outcomes for South Carolina’s children every day.” 

Hospitals selected for the MAiN program will receive up to $30,000 each to cover start-up expenses such as monitors, equipment and case manager or social work hours. In addition, GHS will provide web-based tools and resources, training and technical support to assist with program implementation and patient care, the release said.

Dr. Jennifer Hudson, medical director of newborn services at Greenville Memorial Hospital and pioneer of the MAiN program, said MAiN babies have “better health outcomes, including reduced length of stay and lessened use of health care services” than other published national treatment models of care for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

“We are excited to share our achievement with other facilities so that opioid-exposed newborns might be cared for in their own communities,” Hudson said.