Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) - Neglect/Abuse

First off, thank you for looking at my discussion. I'm posting a question about newborns who are admitted to the NICU with Neonatal Abstinence syndrome (NAS). At our organization, social workers are very closely involved in these cases for home evaluation to ensure the newborn has a safe discharge plan. After their thorough assessment, they may recommend contacting CSB for concerns of neglect in some cases and document as such. Further discharge disposition is determined based on the CSB assessment and recommendations. 

There are also multiple ways these types of patients are discharged home. 

1.     Discharged home to their mother and father 

2.     Discharged home with a safety plan in place to have a family member present, etc. 

3.     The patient removed from the family and placed with other family members or in foster care 


·        In these scenarios, would you query to have the Provider pull this into their documentation? If so, what scenarios? 

·        If it is documented by the provider, as a concern for abuse/neglect on D/C, would you code it? 

I know this is a sensitive subject, but I'm very interested to see others' perspectives. Again, thank you for your time, and have a great day! 



  • This is a sensitive subject. And i have little experience reviewing records in the pediatric setting. I do think we have a responsibility to capture the patient's true story and circumstances. This is important to ensure the patient receives the resources and care they require, but also accurate data can influence resource allocation in the greater community to include support programs etc. I think capture of this is very important for these reasons.

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