New offering addresses dramatic increase in substance use during pregnancy and early parenthood
Rochester, New York, November 10, 2021 – CHESS Health, the leading provider of service-enabled technology supporting the addiction management and recovery lifecycle, today announced the launch of its perinatal program, which focuses on providing support for the growing number of individuals in treatment and recovery for substance use disorder during pregnancy and early parenthood.
Improving outcomes for SUD during pregnancy is difficult due to multiple factors: healthcare providers are often poorly equipped to screen for and address substance use during pregnancy, the ongoing stigma faced by people who struggle with substance use (particularly during pregnancy), and the significant overlap between SUD and co-occurring mental health conditions. The CHESS platform includes a comprehensive set of digital tools and tech-enabled human support, creating patient-centered care for SUD, mental health services, and social support. In the new perinatal program, CHESS offers:
- Electronic referral tools to make it easier for providers and other key stakeholders to refer to needed services. Providers (even those who see SUD infrequently) can easily identify and refer to appropriate services – such as SUD or Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) providers – and also other services that may be needed specifically during pregnancy, such as services that can assist in cases of domestic violence.
- Supportive resources specifically tailored for pregnant individuals and new parents with SUD, available 24/7. Through CHESS Health’s evidence-based Connections app, individuals have access to peer support specialists who have lived experience with SUD and mental health conditions that often occur with SUD (such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia) during pregnancy and early parenthood. In addition to moderating in-app discussions, peers host video-enabled group support meetings and provide support resources and content with the information that pregnant individuals value, such as which medications are safe to use during pregnancy.
- Meaningful data so that program leaders can track patient outcomes, both at the individual and population-wide level, including real-time alerts at moments of risk that can precede a potential return-to-use.
“We must do everything possible to reduce substance use during pregnancy, which we see at similar rates to the general population,” said Caitlyn Larson, the vice president of clinical performance at CHESS Health. “Any step someone takes to reduce substance use during pregnancy is a step in the right direction to decrease the number of pregnant and post-partum individuals who overdose, as well as limit the impact of substance-exposed newborns.”
Opioid use disorder has increased by four times among pregnant women since 1999.[i] In addition to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and chronic medical conditions for the mother, substance use disorder is also linked to detrimental impact to the child, including low birth weight, pre-term birth, breathing and feeding problems. The impact to healthcare costs is dramatic: the average cost of hospitalization for a woman who uses opioids during pregnancy is 38% higher than those who do not use opioids.[ii]
“Pregnancy can be a time of excitement and change. Many pregnant individuals try to adopt healthier behaviors, in hopes of setting their future children up for success. Supporting these health goals is important for individuals with substance use disorder,” said Hans Morefield, CEO of CHESS Health. “It’s essential that we help make sure pregnant individuals aren’t alone, especially if they’re struggling with addiction.”
The program is currently available to CHESS customers in Oklahoma and West Virginia, as well as through the Connections app.
About CHESS Health
CHESS Health is the leading provider of service-enabled technology supporting the entire addiction management and recovery lifecycle. The CHESS platform virtually manages recovery across the continuum, getting more patients into treatment (eIntervention), improving outcomes through digital CBT (eTherapy), and reducing relapse and enabling long-term recovery (eRecovery). Nationally recognized by SAMSHA and NREPP, CHESS Health’s evidence-based platform helps providers, health plans, and government organizations achieve higher abstinence rates, reduce relapses, and lower the cost of care. For more information, visit www.chess.health.
- Cannabis use disorders that increase significantly during pregnancy, Florida News Times, November 4, 2021.
- For pregnant women, pandemic made hunt for drug rehab harder, Sally Ho and Camille Fassett, Associated Press, July 15, 2021.
- Women-centered drug treatment models for pregnant women with opioid use disorder: A scoping review, Chandni Joshi, Margie R. Skeer, Kenneth Chui, Gagan Neupane, Reecha Koirala, Thomas J. Stopka, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 226, 2021.
[ii] Mitra, Anjali MD; Brandt, Justin MD; Rosen, Todd MD; Ananth, Cande PhD, MPH; Schuster, Meike DO. Opioid Use Disorder: A Poorly Understood Cause of Maternal Mortality in the United States [26E], Obstetrics & Gynecology: May 2020 – Volume 135 – Issue – p 56S