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Council rejects data collection on newborns’ opioid exposure

December 23, 2018 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Privacy concerns have prompted the defeat of an effort to collect data on New Hampshire newborns who were exposed to opioids by their mothers’ drug use during pregnancy.

The Department of Health and Human Services sought approval this week for a $45,000 contract with the state’s vital records department to allow for the tracking of substance use disorder and opioid-related exposure in birth records. Officials said the program would address an important gap in collecting data to help a vulnerable population and that the information would not be disclosed publicly, but the Executive Council denied the request.

Councilor Andru Volinsky said he was concerned about creating a database of identifiable information given recent cases of massive data breaches nationwide.