Tracking Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Missouri: Trends and the ICD-CM Transition


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) rates have tripled for Missouri residents in the past three years. NAS is a condition infants suffer soon after birth due to withdrawal after becoming opioid-dependent in the womb. NAS has significant immediate health concerns and can have long term effects on child development and quality of life. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MODHSS) maintains the Patient Abstract System (PAS), a database of inpatient, emergency room, and outpatient records collected from non-federal hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers throughout the state. PAS records contain extensive information about the visit, patient, and diagnosis. When examining 2015 annual PAS data for NAS-associated discharges, Missouri analysts noticed a greater than 50% increase in discharges, even larger than anticipated in light of the opioid epidemic. Provisional 2016 data produced similar high rates, dispelling the notion that the trend was a transitional problem. In fact, provisional 2016 rates are 115% higher than NAS rates in 2015. In contrast, percentage change of opioid misuse emergency department visits (as defined by MODHSS) for Missouri women age 18-44 was +13% in 2015 and -12% in 2016.


In this analysis we examine Missouri NAS discharge rates with special focus on the ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM transition and changes in code descriptions.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2018

January 21, 2018

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