Newborn Screening

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Mission Statement

The goal of the Newborn Screening (NBS) Clinical Care Coordination Program is to decrease the morbidity and mortality of infants born in Texas through customer-oriented, high quality newborn screening follow-up, case management and outreach education.  


Newborn Screening Advisory Committee Meeting - June 17, 2016 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Newborn Screening Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The public may attend the meeting in person at the DSHS main campus, Moreton Building, Room M653, 1100 W. 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756.

The purpose of the Newborn Screening Advisory Committee is to advise DSHS on strategic planning, policy, rules, and services related to newborn screening. Learn more about the Newborn Screening Advisory Committee.  

Provider Re-enrollment Extended to September 25, 2016

Nurse and newborn

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the previous March 24, 2016 deadline for Medicaid provider re-enrollment is extended to Sept. 25, 2016. Though this extension gives states additional time to ensure providers comply with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requirements, Texas Medicaid encourages all providers who have not yet submitted a re-enrollment application to begin this process immediately to avoid potential payment disruptions. Note: This deadline extension also applies for CSHCN Services Program Hospice and Medical Foods providers.

To be considered fully re-enrolled, providers must submit a completed re-enrollment application and receive notification from the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) that their application has been approved.

For more information, call the TMHP Contact Center at 1-800-925-9126 or the TMHPCSHCN Services Program Contact Center at 1-800-568-2413.

Newborns Are Now Screened for 24 Secondary Conditions

Effective May 26, 2015, the Texas Department of State Health Services formally began screening all babies born in Texas for 24 additional health conditions that can cause serious problems including developmental delays, major illness or even death. Previously, the screening included only the  29 core conditions.

The addition of the secondary newborn screening conditions means that all Texas babies are now screened for 53 rare disorders through a blood test analyzed at the state’s public health laboratory in Austin. Texas newborns also are screened for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects at the hospital or birthing center where the birth occurred. Read the DSHS news release.

Revised Newborn Hearing Rules Effective May 14, 2015

Revised newborn hearing screening rules were published in the Texas Register on May 8, 2015. The revised rules and newborn hearing screening program protocols and certification are effective May 14, 2015. Read more about the revised hearing rules.

Cytomegalovirus: A Common Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection that is common. Most people have been infected with CMV by the time they reach adulthood. If the CMV infection occurs for the first time during pregnancy, especially early in pregnancy, the developing fetus may have birth defects including being deaf or hard of hearing. Read more about CMV.

Effective September 1, 2014: Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease in Texas

Beginning September 1, 2014, reporting of Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is mandatory in Texas. House Bill 740, 83rd Legislature Regular Session, 2013, added CCHD to the required Texas newborn screening panel. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has developed Texas Administrative Code rules for CCHD screening located in Chapter 37 §37.75 – 37.79.

Birthing facilities, hospitals, and physicians can utilize the  CCHD toolkit to assist with implementing CCHD screening. The toolkit was developed through the Texas Pulse Oximetry Project with support from DSHS. It provides educational and technical information on screening for CCHD, including the screening algorithm card, brochures, and other information for physicians and nurses.

CCHD Required Report Form
Newborn Screening for CCHD will require the reporting of confirmed cases to DSHS. Use the  CCHD Reporting Form to document confirmed cases. Completed forms can be faxed or mailed to DSHS as follows:

FAX to:
Fax Number: (512) 776-7593
Attention: CCHD Program

MAIL to:
Attention: CCHD Program
DSHS Newborn Screening Genetics Branch
P.O. Box 149347, MC 1918
Austin, Texas 78714-9347 

CCHD Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our frequently asked questions web page for more information. Sign up to receive e-mail updates about newborn screening.

Free CE Accredited CCHD Course Available
The Texas Health Steps Online Provider Education module Critical Congenital Heart Disease educates physicians about the need for early detection and intervention of CCHD in newborns, the protocol for conducting the screen, and what diagnostic testing should be performed in response to a positive screen. Providers will also learn about explaining the screening test to parents of a newborn and the role of the medical home in ensuring that the baby was appropriately screened and received any necessary follow-up.

Critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) is one of the leading causes of death in infants less than one-year old. Each year in the United States, 4,800 infants (2/1000 live births) are born with CCHD. Early diagnosis and timely intervention can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality and can lead to better outcomes.

Any questions regarding CCHD screening can be e-mailed to website inquiry or call Beth Rider, Newborn Screening Ombudsman, at (512) 776-3386. 

Newborn Screening In-Service Education

Newborn Screening (NBS) in-service education is designed to provide general information on the NBS program, genetic disorders screened for in Texas, specimen collection, the importance of early detection and treatment, and resources available to assist healthcare providers participating in newborn screening. In-service face-to-face trainings are generally for audiences of 15 or more. Please send an email message to NBS In-Service Education to schedule in-service education for your organization.

FREE Live Web Conferencing

Webinar trainings cover general information on the NBS program and are designed for small to mid-size groups. The webinar is an online presentation which allows participants to view attached documents and applications electronically from any computer. During the webinar, information about the NBS program will be presented and the webinar format allows for open discussion and questions. Please send an email message to NBS Webinar Training to schedule a webinar training for your organization.

Texas Department of State Health Services
Newborn Screening Unit
PO Box 149347 MC 1918
Austin, TX 78714-9347
Phone: 1-800-252-8023 ext. 3957
Fax: 512-776-7450
Email: website inquiry  

Last updated June 14, 2016