Newborn Screening
  • Newborn Screening

Each year, about 98 percent of the 4 million newborns in the U.S. are screened for an array of serious genetic and other health conditions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12,500 newborns each year are diagnosed with one of the core conditions detected through newborn screening. This means about 1 in every 300 newborns screened is eventually diagnosed.

Texas hospitals play a critical role in screening newborns for certain, potentially devastating conditions that with early intervention and treatment can change a child’s future and prevent life-long disability or death.

Texas has required newborn screening since 1999, and like many other states, requires hospitals to conduct three types of screenings on all newborns born in their facilities:

1. Hearing.
2. Congenital metabolic and genetic disorders (bloodspot).
3. Critical congenital heart disease.

Because of the severity of these conditions, it’s imperative that hospitals screen accurately and timely and deliver accurate and timely screening results for every baby.


Carrie Kroll, vice president of advocacy, public health and quality, 512-465-1043

Download the Newborn Screening Whitepaper

In collaboration with OZ Systems, the newborn hearing screening vendor for Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Hospital Association is helping educate Texas hospitals on the best practices for and benefits of newborn screening to:

 Increase the number of newborns in Texas who are screened for serious conditions according to evidence-based timelines.
 Reduce challenges for hospitals, providers and families.

THA and OZ Systems hosted on Oct. 9, 2018 an "Implementing Best Practices for Newborn Screening in Hospitals" webinar. The webinar covered the three different screenings and best practices and benefits of each.

Important Updates

TDSHS/THA Letter to Hospital CEOs Regarding Newborn Screening Timeliness (April 4, 2019)

TDSHS Makes Changes to Newborn Screening Result Reporting Statements Effective April 11

TDSHS announced that it will change the Newborn Screening Result Reporting Statements beginning April 11. Changes include: 

The analyte result will now be included in the Screening Result Notes. For example,“Possible Maple Syrup Urine Disease. Leucine Slightly Elevated; Valine Elevated. Recommend plasma quantitative amino acids and urine organic acids within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist.” 

Modifications to Screening Result Notes for some disorders include updated recommendations for some confirmatory testing and follow up care; updated referral and specimen recollection time frames; improved uniformity of notes across full range of notes. 

The full list of newborn screening test reporting results is available here.

TDSHS reminds laboratories to read screening result notes fully before taking action.

Report Diagnosed Cases of Critical Congenital Heart Disease in Newborns

TDSHS and THA ask Texas hospitals report diagnosed cases of critical congenital heart disease in newborns to support research and prevention efforts.
 Download the Notice


In this Capitol Update, THA's Carrie Kroll and Lance Lunsford discuss the importance of newborn screening.