NewsHealthHealth Policy / March 3, 2014

House Approves Study Of Addicted Mothers, Newborns

Lesley Weidenbener - The StatehouseFile.com

The state will undergo an expansive study of babies born to addicted mothers under legislation that passed the Indiana House unanimously.

Senate Bill 408 creates a new definition of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – a name for the condition of addicted newborns – and would require hospitals to report its incidence.

The bill also assigns the Commission on Improving the Status of Children the job of studying the treatments available to women who are pregnant and addicted and the training available to professionals who deal with children born addicted. And it allows the Indiana State Department of Health to create a pilot program to try ways of identifying and reporting affected newborns.

“The purpose of this is to help these babies born to moms on drugs,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse. “We need to determine how to get information from the mom, what they’re on and how we can help.”

The Senate has already approved the bill. But the House added language that creates a grant program for infant mortality programs.

Senators will now decide whether to approve the House changes or send the bill to a study committee where lawmakers could try to find a compromise between the different versions.