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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia


February 13, 2018
Press Release
WV becomes first state to receive federal approval to cover treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) announced today that West Virginia has received federal approval to cover treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome, exposure to drugs like opioids during pregnancy. West Virginia is now the first state federally approved to cover NAS treatment at centers like Lily’s Place.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will now allow the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services to cover treatment for NAS, removing a major hurdle in caring for these drug-exposed newborns. It will also allow West Virginia Medicaid to recognize Lily’s Place in Huntington as an NAS treatment center.

“Since before coming to Congress, I have worked to help the most innocent victims of the drug crisis – newborn babies exposed to opioids and other drugs during pregnancy. The cries of these tiny babies are heartbreaking, and they deserve every chance we can give them to live happy, healthy lives.

“However, federal red tape has made operating centers like Lily’s Place difficult, and I have worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to remove obstacles. Thanks to this decision, West Virginia will be able to help even more newborns and continue to lead the way in innovating models of care for NAS. Now, the House and Senate need to take up my legislation, the CRIB Act, to provide certainty for NAS treatment centers across the nation to ensure all newborns have a chance at a healthy start at life,” Rep. Jenkins said.

“This issue has been a source of uncertainty for Lily’s Place, so we welcome this announcement. This designation will allow us to continue to offer compassionate care to newborns in need. I want to thank Congressman Jenkins for fighting for these newborns and working with federal agencies to resolve this critical issue. Now, I hope Congress will pass the CRIB Act to provide a permanent fix to this issue and allow even more centers like Lily’s Place to open nationwide,” said Rebecca Crowder, executive director of Lily’s Place.

In the House, Rep. Jenkins introduced the bipartisan Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act, which Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) helped introduce in the Senate.

The CRIB Act would build on the best practices of Lily’s Place in Huntington for treating NAS babies. It would also make it easier for similar centers to open across the country by cutting regulatory red tape.