For Release:

Department of Health Proposes Rule Amendments to Implement Birth Center and Hospital Reporting of Substance-Affected Infants to Department of Children and Families

As part of a joint rulemaking with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Office of Certificate of Need and Healthcare Facility Licensure of the New Jersey Department of Health, with the approval of the Health Care Administration Board, is proposing amendments to the licensure standards at N.J.A.C. 8:43A, which apply to ambulatory care facilities that are birth centers, and N.J.A.C. 8:43G, which apply to hospitals.

In the joint rulemaking, the DCF proposes new rules at N.J.A.C. 3A:26, Substance-Affected Infants.  The new rules implement New Jersey’s obligation under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to establish a system for healthcare providers to report cases of infants by substance abuse at birth, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.  The proposed new rules at N.J.A.C. 3A:26 would establish the required content of these reports, and the process for birth centers and hospitals to report cases to the DCF Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

As part of the joint rulemaking, the Department proposes amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:43A and 43G that would establish as a licensure condition that hospitals and birth centers implement policies and procedures to ensure the submission of reports of substance-affected infants, in accordance with the proposed new rules at N.J.A.C. 3A:26.

The notice of proposal appears in the August 21, 2017, issue of the New Jersey Register.  Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit written comments either (1) electronically by October 20, 2017, to rules@dcf.state.nj.us or (2) by regular mail postmarked on or before October 20, 2017, to Pamela Wentworth, M.S.W., L.S.W., Department of Children and Families, PO Box 717, Trenton, NJ 08625.

LexisNexis provides free online access to the New Jersey Register at http://www.lexisnexis.com/njoal.  An unofficial copy of the proposal is also available from the Department’s website at http://nj.gov/health/legal/rules/notice-of-rule-proposals.

Last Reviewed: 9/28/2017