The lead article in the June 19th Boston Globe highlights that “drug-addicted babies in Mass. are triple the national rate,” and details the need for adequate reporting of drug-exposed newborns to inform health care policy, as well as prevention and treatment programs. This is an issue that Senator Brownsberger is acting on.
On May 13th the Senate unanimously passed S.2142 (S.2133 amended) “An Act to increase opportunities for long-term substance abuse recovery.” The legislation included an amendment sponsored by Senator Brownsberger :
Reporting Requirements for Newborn Exposure and Hospitalizations Caused by
Non-Lethal Exposure to Substances
Mr. Brownsberger moved that the bill be amended by adding the following new language in Section 16 after the words “in a manner determined by the commissioner of public health” in line 161:-
On a monthly basis, acute hospitals, as defined in Section 64 of Chapter 118E of the General Laws, shall file a report with the commissioner on public health in a manner determined by the commissioner of public health. This report shall include the number of infants born in the previous month identified by the hospital as having been exposed to a schedule II through schedule VI, inclusive, controlled substance, under Chapter 94C, as well as the number and specific causes of hospitalizations caused by ingestion of a schedule II, through schedule VI, inclusive, controlled substance, under Chapter 94C.
This legislation is intended to extend to the reporting of non-lethal overdoses of patients receiving treatment in acute hospitals.