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Bill requires reporting of drug-addicted newborns

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio House bill would require hospitals to report the number of babies born addicted to drugs.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/J51FiW ) reports its part of the Legislature's continuing efforts to get a handle on the state's prescription drug and heroin crisis.

Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, a Napoleon Republican and the bill's sponsor, says it will help lawmakers gauge whether "we're impacting these addiction issues in a positive, negative or neutral way."

The bill would require hospitals to report the number of newborns diagnosed as opioid dependent. The Ohio Department of Health would write the rules on how the reporting is done.

The bill specifies that information can't be passed to law-enforcement agencies.

The Ohio Hospital Association reports that treatment for drug-addicted newborns cost more than $70 million in 2011.

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