Up to 30% of women fill a prescription for an opioid at some point during their pregnancy.1
The Rise of an Epidemic
From 2004-2013, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) was responsible for a substantial and growing portion of resources dedicated to critically ill neonates in hospitals nationwide.2
Meanwhile, traditional risk-based screening methods may underestimate the prevalence of fetal drug exposure3. In a recent study:
- 20% of opioid-positive urine tests occurred in pregnant mothers without verbal screening predictors.
- 24% of positives for substances other than opioids (amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, and benzodiazepines) occurred in pregnant mothers with negative risk-based screens.
- Overall study demographics included mostly Caucasian women (95%), 52% were married, and 53% were covered by private insurance.
Rapid Increase in Cost of Care
The incidence of NAS has grown nearly five-fold since 2000, accounting for an estimated $1.5 billion in annual hospital expenditures across the U.S.4
What is NatalCare™?
In response to the steep increase of drug-exposed newborns evolving out of the prescription drug abuse epidemic, Aegis offers NatalCare, a confirmatory drug testing service. NatalCare provides you with an objective tool to monitor prescription/illicit drug use of your expectant mothers.
We agree that a physician-patient relationship should be built on TRUST.
We TRUST that patients report medications they are taking, including prescription pain medications.
Yet, 1 out of every 2 pregnant women prescribed opiates and antidepressants did not report taking them.
TRUST but Verify.
Using NatalCare™ Testing Services
For over 20 years, we have provided quality drug testing services which include:
- Confirmatory testing by LC/MS/MS, GC/MS or LDTD/MS
- Comprehensive profile including illicit drugs and commonly used/abused prescription medications
- Simple, step-by-step Laboratory Request form
- Easy-to-read Results Report
- Third-party insurance billing
After all, the ultimate goal of prenatal care is to PROTECT patient health by providing the best possible care, regardless of whether a drug dependent baby is expected or not.
Below are the key findings for the 2015 NatalCare™ testing results.
Specimens collected between 1.1.2015 and 12.31.2015:
- Total specimens tested
- Overall Mean Age
Of the 6,731 compliant specimens tested:
- 6,468 (57.6%) were not prescribed drugs, and no drugs were detected.
Of the 4,489 non-compliant specimens tested:
- 2,221 (19.8% of total tested) were positive for illicit drugs.
- Marijuana = 2,039
- Cocaine = 98
- Synthetic Cannabinoids = 6
- Methamphetamine = 160
- Heroin = 26
- 2,726 (24.3%) were positive for Cotinine.
- 276 (2.5%) were positive for Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG).
- 1,248 (11.1%) resulted in prescription drug use of non-prescribed drugs.
1Bateman BT, Hernandez-Diaz S, Rathmell JP, et al. Patterns of opioid utilization in pregnancy in a large cohort of commercial insurance beneficiaries in the United States. Anesthesiology. 2014;120(5):1216-24
2Tolia V, Patrick S, Spitzer A, et al. Increasing incidence of the neonatal abstinence syndrome in U.S. neonatal ICUs. N Engl J Med. May 28, 2015;372(22):2118-2126.
3Wexelblatt S, Ward L, Torok K, Tisdale E, et al. Universal maternal drug testing in a high-prevalence region of prescription opiate abuse. J Pediatr. March 2015;166(3):582-586.
4Patrick S, Davis M, Lehman C, Cooper W. Increasing incidence and geographic distribution of neonatal abstinence syndrome: United States 2009 to 2012. J Perinatol. April 30, 2015. ISSN: 1476-5543.
5Results that may not require further assessment for substance abuse/misuse.
6Results indicate need for further patient assessment for substance abuse/misuse.
7Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014