Improving Access to Care for Pregnant and Postpartum People With Opioid Use Disorder

In recent years, drug-related overdoses have become a leading cause of death during pregnancy and the postpartum period, exacerbating a mounting maternal mortality crisis and underscoring the need for improved access to care for pregnant and parenting people with opioid use disorder—many of whom confront punitive policies and family separation. 1,2,3,4

The American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt have developed recommendations for policymakers to improve access to care for pregnant and postpartum people with opioid use disorder, focusing several strategies on justice-involved individuals. In a new webinar with front-line clinicians and policymakers, the AMA and Manatt share these recommendations and highlight state- and community-based best practices.

Key topics include:

  • An overview of the structural and other barriers that impede access to evidence-based care for pregnant and postpartum people with opioid use disorder
  • Key policy recommendations for improving access to care, including:
    • Supporting access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) as the standard of care for opioid use disorder in pregnancy
    • Ensuring pregnant and postpartum people are supported and not punished for receiving MOUD
    • Improving data collection and state partnerships to ensure equitable access to treatment
    • Requiring correctional facilities and judicially supervised diversion programs to provide all justice-involved people with access to MOUD and universal screening
    • Guaranteeing Medicaid coverage and access to pre-release services for all incarcerated people
  • Best practices and proven strategies states can leverage to improve access to care


  • Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, President, American Medical Association
  • Jocelyn Guyer, Senior Managing Director, Manatt Health
  • Kimberly Sue, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine); Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale; Author of Getting Wrecked: Women, Incarceration, and the American Opioid Crisis
  • Cara Poland, MD, Med, Associate Professor, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Principal Investigator, MICARES
  • Mishka Terplan, MD, MPH, Medical Director/Senior Research Scientist, Friends Research Institute

Date and Time:

Tuesday, March 5

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

1 Bruzelius E, Martins SS. US Trends in Drug Overdose Mortality Among Pregnant and Postpartum Persons, 2017-2020. JAMA. 2022;328(21):2159–2161. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.17045

2 Trost SL, Beauregard J, Njie F, et al. Pregnancy-Related Deaths: Data from Maternal Mortality Review Committees in 36 US States, 2017–2019. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2022.

3 Campbell J, Matoff-Stepp S, Velez ML, Cox HH, Laughon K. Pregnancy-Associated Deaths from Homicide, Suicide, and Drug Overdose: Review of Research and the Intersection with Intimate Partner Violence. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Feb;30(2):236-244. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8875. Epub 2020 Dec 8. PMID: 33295844; PMCID: PMC8020563.

4 Hoyert DL. Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2021. NCHS Health E-Stats. 2023.DOI:

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This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



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