• 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

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 encourages all birthing facilities to participate in the Oct. 9 Implementing Best Practices for Newborn Screening in Hospitals webinar, hosted by THA and OZ Systems. The webinar will cover the three different screenings and best practices and benefits of each. Learn more about the webinar and register here.

Important Updates

TDSHS Changes Hemoglobin Reporting for Newborn Screening Submitters

Due to issues with quality control material, effective Sept. 6, “Hemoglobin G” will no longer be reported. Specimens showing possible Hemoglobin G during testing will be reported as “Other” hemoglobin variant.

TDSHS Changes NBS Testing and Result Reporting Statements for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

TDSHS is adding a second-tier reflex test for screening of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Two new CAH result reporting statements will be added and all other abnormal CAH results will be updated to reflect the addition of testing methodology. These updates take effect Sept. 17. Read more here.


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