There shall be an interagency task force on newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome and substance-exposed newborns to develop a unified statewide plan to collect data, develop outcome goals and ensure quality service is delivered to those newborns. The statewide plan shall ensure that, to the extent possible, all executive agencies work in coordination to address the needs of newborns, infants and young children impacted by exposure to substances.
The task force shall be comprised of the following members or their designees: the secretary of health and human services, who shall serve as co-chair; the attorney general, who shall serve as co-chair; the commissioner of children and families; the commissioner of mental health; the commissioner of public health; and the executive director of the health policy commission. The co-chairs shall establish an advisory council which may include hospitals, nonprofit entities and community-based organizations with demonstrated expertise in the health, care and treatment of mothers with substance use disorders, newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome and substance-exposed newborns, infants and children and shall seek input from other experts in the field to develop a unified statewide plan.
The unified statewide plan shall: (i) provide for the coordination of care and services for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome and substance exposed newborns including, but not limited to, those related to early intervention, substance use disorders and healthcare access issues; (ii) include an inventory of the services and programs available in the commonwealth to serve newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome and substance exposed newborns; (iii) identify gaps in available services and programs; and (iv) formulate an interagency plan for addressing those gaps in services and programs.
The task force shall file a report of its findings and the recommended statewide plan, along with any proposed legislation or regulatory amendments necessary to implement the statewide plan with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the senate and house committees on ways and means, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health and the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse not later than March 1, 2017.