State DHHR receives approval for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome treatment services

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- West Virginia has become the first state to receive approval from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome treatment services, officials announced Tuesday.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, impacts newborns who have been prenatally exposed to addictive drugs. The newborns must be monitored constantly after birth in order to treat withdrawal syndrome and wean them off of the drugs using small doses of methadone or morphine.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources' Bureau for Medical Services received the new approval. he department says this permits a program for newborns with NAS to receive services through Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Centers to treat withdrawal symptoms, including:

-Comprehensive assessment to determine a plan of care

-Low or reduced stimulus environment, slow introduction to sensory stimulation (both site and sound)

-Pharmaceutical Withdrawal Management, with tapering protocol as referenced by the American Academy of Pediatrics

-Monitoring Withdrawal Objective Assessment, at least twice, daily

-Non-Pharmacological Interventions, including but not limited to
therapeutic swaddling, vestibular stimulation/vertical rocking, C-position, head-to-toe movements, clapping, exercise to relieve gas discomfort, and newborn massage.

Lily’s Place in Huntington has been offering NAS treatment, and officials say the center can now be recognized by West Virginia Medicaid as a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment Center.