Newborn Screening Notices

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DSHS Austin Laboratory Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Reminders

Newborn Screening (NBS)

Testing Notices:

  • NBS specimens received and accessioned on Wednesday, 11/27/2019 will be tested immediately by the NBS laboratory.
  • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Thursday, 11/28/2019 (Thanksgiving Day).
  • NBS testing will resume on Saturday, 11/30/2019.
  • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Sunday, 12/1/2019.

Healthcare Provider Reminders:

  • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
  • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as soon as possible.

Clinical Chemistry

Testing Notices:

  • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine specimens must be received by Wednesday, 11/27/2019 to complete testing before the holiday.
  • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid profile, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Fridays or on the day before a state-observed holiday.

Healthcare Provider Reminders:

Microbiology

  • Rabies:
    • Ship rabies specimens via Greyhound Bus.  Specimens received between 8 AM and noon on Wednesday, 11/27/2019 will be tested Friday, 11/29/2019.
    • Positive results will be called out before noon Friday, 11/29/2019. 
    • Emergency testing is available on Friday, 11/29/2019 and Saturday, 11/30/2019 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595). Specimen receipt must be guaranteed.
    • All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 12/2/2019 and reported before 5 PM.
  • Viral Isolation Laboratory:
    • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/27/2019 – Sunday, 12/1/2019.  Store specimens collected during this time at -70°C or below.
    • Ship specimens on dry ice the week of 12/2/2019.
  • Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory (TB):
    • Ensure critical AFB Smear and NAA for M. tuberculosis specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 11/27/2019.  
    • Call 512-776-7342 for expedited test requests before 9 AM on Wednesday, 11/27/2019.
    • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/27/2019 to Friday, 11/29/2019.  Keep specimens in refrigerated storage until shipment.
    • Specimens will not be tested from Thursday, 11/28/2019 to Sunday, 12/1/2019.

Bacteriology Water Samples

  • Water samples will not be accepted the following dates:
    • November 27, 2019 - December 1, 2019
    • December 23, 2019 - December 27, 2019
    • December 31, 2019 - January 1, 2020

Supply Order Requests

  • Priority overnight shipping requests received on 11/26/2019 will be issued and sent as normal.
  • All other requests received by noon on 11/26/2019 will be sent FedEx Ground.
  • Requests received after noon on 11/26/2019 through 12/1 will be sent Monday, 12/2/2019.

Questions?

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or locally 512-776-7318

Main Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

NBS Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Clinical Chemistry Email: ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

Container Preparation: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

Posted November 04, 2019


Check the Expiration Date on Newborn Screening Kits

Newborn Screening (NBS) kits beginning with serial number 17 (17-XXXXXX), EXPIRED on October 31, 2019.

Do Not Use ‘17 kits to collect NBS specimens.

Specimens collected on ‘17 kits after October 31, 2019 will be REJECTED.

To Exchange NBS4 (Insurance/Self-Pay) Kits:

  • Complete the G-6D “Newborn Screening Supplies” order form
  • Count the number of remaining expired NBS4 kits
  • Write the number of expired NBS4 kits to exchange in the “Quantity Requested” box
  • Write “Exchange” in the Billing – Purchase Order Number box
  • Ship the completed form and expired NBS4 kits to the Container Preparation Group:

             Courier Delivery Address (FedEx, UPS, or other)

             DSHS – Laboratory Services Section

             Container Preparation Group

             1100 W. 49th St.

             Austin, TX 78756-3199

             USPS Address (regular mail service)

             DSHS – Laboratory Services Section, MC 1947

             Container Preparation Group

             PO Box 149341

             Austin, TX 78714-9341

NOTE: Do NOT return expired NBS3 (Medicaid/Charity Care/CHIP) kits. Dispose of them appropriately.

  • The shipping cost is the responsibility of the submitter
  • Exchanges are accepted up to 3 months after the kit expiration date (e.g kits expired on October 31, 2019 need to be received by DSHS on or before January 31, 2020)
  • Allow DSHS five (5) business days from receipt of exchange request to process the request

          To order additional new kits:

          NOTE: Orders for additional kits will not be processed from the same G-6D form as the request for exchange of expired kits. Only the exchange will be processed.

          Additional Information:

          Review NBS4 (Insurance/Self-Pay) Kit Exchange of Expired Kits.

          Questions / Comments

          888-963-7111 ext. 7661 or 512-776-7661

          ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted November 1, 2019


          Hemoglobin D Reporting Change

          Due to issues with obtaining quality control material from our manufacturer, effective 10/28/2019, “Hemoglobin D” will no longer be reported. Specimens showing possible Hemoglobin D during testing will be reported as “Other” hemoglobin variant. If the manufacturer is able to provide quality control material in the future, we will return to being able to report out the Hemoglobin D result.

          For questions or comments:

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

          Posted October 24, 2019


          CHECK NEWBORN SCREENING KIT EXPIRATION DATES

          Newborn Screening kits with a serial number beginning with 17 (17-XXXXXXX) EXPIRE on October 31, 2019.

          Use ‘17 kits first to collect specimens before they expire.

          Specimens collected on ‘17 kits after October 31, 2019 will be REJECTED.

          Questions / Comments

          888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          dshs.texas.gov/lab/newbornscreening.shtm

          Posted October 8, 2019 




          Changes to the Texas DSHS Laboratory Fee Schedule

          Including a fee increase to the NBS test

           

          Dear Colleague,

           

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section (LSS) is in the process of revising laboratory testing and fees for laboratory services to meet business needs.  These revisions are proposed to take effect January 1, 2020. Stakeholders can submit comments until December 30, 2019 at LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov or by mail at:  Laboratory Services Section, Attn. Fee Schedule Changes, PO Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347.  

           

          There will be a fee increase to the NBS test:

          Effective January 1, 2020, the new cost of PAID newborn screening (NBS) kits will be raised to $60.58 due to the addition of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) to the newborn screening test panel.  PAID NBS kits ordered on or after January 1, 2020 will be billed at the new price of $60.58.

           

          Other fee schedule changes

          Visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/Fees/90-day-notice---Jan-2020-Fee-Schedule-Notice---full-letter-for-website.pdf to view all fee schedule changes, including:

          • fee changes to existing tests,
          • changes to test names to more accurately reflect the actual test procedure,
          • new tests added, and
          • existing tests discontinued.

           

          The new fee schedules will be posted to the DSHS Laboratory website by January 1, 2020.  To view the current Austin and South Texas DSHS Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/fees.shtm 

           

          NBS questions or comments:

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted October 1, 2019 



          September is National Newborn Screening Awareness Month

          #1 Babies playing


          Thank you for ensuring Texas babies are screened!

          • Newborn screening is recognized as the largest and most successful public health disease prevention program in the US.
          • Mark your calendar, BabysFirstTest.org will host a Twitter Chat (#2019NBS) on September 17th at 2pm EST!  


          #1 Baby Foot


          Posted September 10, 2019 


          Newborn Screening X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD)

          ACT and FACT Sheets

           

          The Texas Newborn Screening Program plans to begin screening for X-ALD on August 5, 2019.

          Healthcare providers can learn more about the condition and out of range screen protocols by reviewing X-ALD ACT and FACT sheets.

          • The Newborn Screening Program expects around 40 Texas children to benefit from X-ALD screening each year.
          • The Clinical Care Coordination Team will contact the primary care provider of any child with an abnormal newborn screen. The nurse will provide follow-up guidance and answer any questions.
          • Newborns with an abnormal newborn screen require a referral for diagnostic evaluation. Children with a confirmed diagnosis will need multidisciplinary care, including metabolic, endocrine, and neurology.

          Thank you for helping keep Texas newborns healthy!

          Questions?

          Contact Newborn Screening Program:

          1-800-252-8023 ext. 3957

          Newborn@dshs.texas.gov


          Posted July 25, 2019


          Newborn Screening Fee Increase

          The Texas Newborn Screening Program (NSP) received a $1.2 million appropriation for X-ALD screening implementation in the 2018-19 General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.  Funding for ongoing testing costs after implementation was appropriated in S.B. 500, 86th Legislative, Regular Session, 2019. The additional funding will allow the Texas NSP to begin testing for X-ALD on August 5, 2019. 

          Q: When does the fee increase start?
          A: The fee is currently expected to increase January 1, 2020.

          Q: How much will the fee increase?
          A: The fee for each insurance/self-pay test kit is expected to increase about $5 - $6. Stakeholders will be notified of the exact amount a minimum of 90 days prior to the increase.

          Q: Why is the fee increasing?
          A: DSHS will expand the Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Panel to include X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) and must increase the fee to cover the additional cost of providing X-ALD screening and follow-up services.  

          Q: What CPT code can be submitted to insurance companies for X-ALD?
          A: 82726 Very Long Chain Fatty Acid
          Note: Find more information on CPT codes to use here.

          Q: Who pays for the insurance/self-pay kits?
          A: DSHS will bill the person or facility that orders insurance/self-pay test kits.
          Tips for choosing and using the correct kit:

          • Use the Insurance/Self-Pay Test Kit (form #NBS4) for newborns that are covered under a private insurance plan or will pay out of pocket.
          • Use the Medicaid/CHIP/Charity Test Kit (form #NBS3) ONLY for Medicaid eligible newborns, newborns covered by CHIP, or newborns that have absolutely no other payment option as required in Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Section 37.55

          Questions? 
          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333
          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted June 24, 2019


          Newborn Screening Result Reports and Result Reporting Statements for

          X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD)


          In 2017, the Texas Legislature provided the Texas Newborn Screening Program (NSP) $1.2 million for X-ALD screening implementation. During the recently-concluded 86th Legislative Session, the Legislature provided further funding for ongoing testing costs. The additional funding will allow the Texas NSP to begin testing for X-ALD on August 5, 2019. Please find information below on how X-ALD results will be displayed. Facilities that report electronically may need to add this information to their systems.

          X-ALD Results will display in an additional row on the disorder table:

          Result Reporting Statements for X-ALD include:

          NBS Result Reporting Statements for X-ALD

          Questions?

          Call: 1-888-963-7111 x7333 or locally 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted June 14, 2019


          New Contact Information for Remote Data Systems Help

          Effective June 3, 2019

          Customers using Result Web Portal, Newborn Screening Web Application (Neometrics), or both, must contact the HHSC Consolidated Help Desk for password and login issues

          HHSC Consolidated Help Desk:

          Email: mailto:help@hhsc.state.tx.us

          Phone: 855-435-7181

          Questions? 

          Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7578 or for local calls 512-776-7578

          Email: RemoteLabSupport@dshs.texas.gov  

          Posted May 31, 2019


          Changes to Newborn Screening Result Reporting Statements

          Effective April 11, 2019

          Changes include:

          • The analyte result will now be included in the Screening Result Notes.
            • 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:
            • Updated recommendations for some confirmatory testing and follow up care
            • Updated referral and specimen recollection timeframes
            • Improved uniformity of notes across full range of notes

          A full list of newborn screening test reporting results can be found here.

          Reminder: Read screening result notes fully before taking action.

          Questions / Comments

          Call 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

          Posted April 3, 2019 


          IMPORTANT NOTICE

          X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) Screen to be Added to

          Texas Newborn Screening Panel

           

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is beginning the process to add X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening to the Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Panel.

          What is X-ALD?

          X-ALD happens when the body cannot breakdown certain fats (very long chain fatty acids – VLCFAs). These fats then build up, affecting the nervous system and adrenal glands the most.

          How common is X-ALD?

          About 1 in 17,000 babies are affected by X-ALD; it most severely affects males.

          Where can I find more information on X-ALD?

          Watch for continued updates, including list serve announcements, throughout the implementation process. 

          Find more information at Baby’s First Test

          When will X-ALD be added to the Texas NBS Panel?

          This addition is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019.

          Will there be a fee increase? 

          Yes, an increase is expected. DSHS will notify stakeholders of the amount at least 90 days prior to implementation.

          Will more blood be needed to complete this test?

          No. Continue to collect 5 completely saturated blood spots.

          What conditions are included on Texas Newborn Screening Panel?

          Currently, Texas screens for  31 identified core conditions, and reports on an additional 24 secondary conditions. Note: Secondary conditions may be detected during screening for core conditions and some secondary conditions may be as severe and life threatening as core conditions.

          A list of the conditions on the Texas Newborn Screening Panel can be found  here (pdf).

               

          For questions or comments:

           1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted March 21, 2019 


          Updated Newborn Screening Refusal

          Form Now Available

             

          Healthcare providers, your help is needed to ensure parents understand the purpose and importance of newborn screening before they refuse.

             

          Steps to take if parent refuses newborn screening:

          • Discuss the general purpose and benefits of newborn screening.
          • Answer all questions the parents may have about newborn screening.
          • Provide printed informational materials to the parent.
          • Explain that the only legal reason to refuse is if the test conflicts with the religious practices of an organized church of which they are members.
          • Show the parents: Newborn Screening: More Than Drops On a Card, a video about families that benefited from newborn screening.

          If the parent still refuses:

          For more information or questions:

          BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS BRANCH * LABORATORY SERVICES * PO BOX 149347 * AUSTIN, TX 78714-3194

          Posted March 21, 2019


          NEW!

          Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Annual Report

          TOGETHER in 2018 we:

          • Screened over 380,000 babies and over 740,000 NBS specimens
          • Identified over 750 babies (to date) affected by one of the NBS Disorders

          Texas babies depend on the entire NBS System - KEEP UP THE TEAMWORK!  

          NEW! Texas Newborn Screening By The Numbers provides:

          *U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC)

           

          Questions / Comments

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333  OR  512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

          BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS BRANCH * LABORATORY SERVICES SECTION * PO BOX 149347 * AUSTIN, TX 78714-3194

          Posted March 13, 2019 


          Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory - Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, Austin TX

          Please complete the following survey. Your responses are very important as they help us improve our services.

          The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.  Please click “OK” to begin the survey. 

          Please complete the survey by March 25, 2019.

          If you have questions, contact the DSHS Laboratory at 512-776-7598.

          Posted February 27, 2019


          Process Change for Electronically Received Newborn Screening Demographic Information

          Effective March 1, 2019, the DSHS Laboratory will update the process for electronically submitted newborn screening specimen demographic information. 

          The revised process has been developed to minimize specimen testing delays, decrease potential processing errors, and reduce staff time handling erroneously entered electronic demographic information.

          Please review the revised process ( Remote Services Specimen Acceptability and Handling Rules) and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

          Questions?

          Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NBSRemoteDataServices@dshs.texas.gov 

           

          BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS BRANCH * LABORATORY SERVICES SECTION * PO BOX 149347 * AUSTIN, TX 78714-3194

          Posted February 13, 2019 



          The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section(LSS) is proposing changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

          The purpose of the changes is to repeal rules §73.54 and §73.55 related to the Fee Schedule for Clinical Testing and Newborn Screening, as well as Chemical Analyses, from TAC. Additionally, rule §73.41 will be amended to direct stakeholders to the LSS website to view the most current laboratory fee schedule.

          The public comment period ends January 27, 2019.  Additional details, including a full draft of the proposed rule changes may be found here.     https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking

          Posted January 10, 2019 


          2019 IS Here

          Wrong dates will delay specimen testing or cause specimen REJECTION.


          Avoid Delays and Specimen Rejection:

          • Ensure dates (including year) are complete and accurate. 
          • Assign staff to double check that all specimen information is:
            • Complete
            • Accurate
            • Legible
          • Respond to DSHS staff requests for clarifying information.


            Example of correct date and time format:

          RE%%

             

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email:  NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

          Posted January 2, 2019


          2019 Will Soon Be Here

          Wrong dates will delay specimen testing or cause specimen REJECTION.


            Avoid Delays and Specimen Rejection:

          • Ensure dates (including year) are complete and accurate. 
          • Assign staff to double check that all specimen information is:
            • Complete
            • Accurate
            • Legible
          • Respond to DSHS staff requests for clarifying information.

          RE%%

             

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

           



          ATTENTION SUBMITTERS

          CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE ON

          DSHS SNAP-APART FILTER PAPER CARDS


          DSHS Snap-Apart filter paper cards, with lot number W131 (magenta ink),

          EXPIRE on January 31, 2019.

          These cards are used for Hemoglobin Electrophoresis, PKU monitoring, and DNA testing.

          Specimens collected on these cards after January 31, 2019 will beREJECTED.


          What to do next:

          • Discard any remaining cards after 1/31/2019.
          • To order more DSHS Snap Apart Filter Paper Cards:

               o  Email: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov  or Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7661.

           


          Questions / Comments

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


          Posted December 18, 2018


          Austin Laboratory Christmas and New Year 

          Holiday Closure Reminders

           

          Newborn Screening Laboratory:

          Christmas Holiday Closed Dates:

          12/25/2018 – 12/26/2018

          • Newborn screening specimens received and accessioned on Monday, 12/24/2018 will be tested immediately by the Newborn Screening Laboratory.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Tuesday, 12/25/2018.
          • Newborn screening testing will resume on Thursday, 12/27/18.

          New Year’s Holiday Closed Date: 1/1/2019

          • Newborn screening specimens received and accessioned on Monday, 12/31/2018 will be tested immediately by the Newborn Screening Laboratory.
          • Newborn screening testing will resume on Wednesday, 1/2/2019.

          Reminders:

          • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
          • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as quickly as possible.


          Questions? Contact the Texas DSHS Laboratory:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or for local calls 512-776-7318

          Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Or:  ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov



          Posted December 6, 2018



          RESULTS ARE JUST A CLICK AWAY…

           

          Sign up for a free online account today!


          Available remote data systems:  

          • Newborn Screening (NBS) Results via Neometrics
          • Clinical Chemistry (THSTEPS) Results via Results-Web Portal
          • Public Health Microbiology (PH) Results via Results-Web Portal 
          • Public Health Microbiology (PHLIMS for Epidemiologists) Results via Results-Web Portal (LabWare)   


          Signing up is easy!

          To use the above remote data system(s), complete these forms:

          • One Facility Security Agreement per facility (or per Submitter ID) (pdf)
          • One Web User Access Agreement per user (pdf)  

          Once forms are completed email to: Remotelabsupport@dshs.texas.gov  

          More information about the web applications can be found on the DSHS Laboratory Services Section website here.

          Posted October 30, 2018



          NEWBORN SCREENING:

          TIPS ON HOW TO COMPLETE THE DEMOGRAPHIC FORM

             

          View and share Newborn Screening Kit Completion video for more information.

          Manual entry on the demographic form:

          • Complete all areas
          • Use black ink
          • Write in CAPITAL LETTERS, apply enough pressure for carbon copy
          • Enter correct birth date and collection date    
          • Enter GRAMS for birthweight: 88888888888
              
          • Enter only LAST NAME in Last Name Field

          • Enter only FIRST NAME in First Name Field

          • Write corresponding number in the box for numbered fields (example below)

            0000000000000

          Using DSHS approved demographic labels:

          • Ensure all entered information is printed correctly on labels
          • Enter correct birth date and collection date

          Your help is needed. Please ensure all information is complete, accurate, and legible prior to shipping. Incorrect, missing, misplaced, or invalid information can cause specimen rejection, delays in testing, and incorrect testing results and reports.

           For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7578 or for local calls 512-776-7578

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov
          Posted October 30, 2018


          ATTENTION NEWBORN SCREENING SUBMITTERS

          Hemoglobin G Reporting Resumes October 11, 2018

          Effective 10/11/2018, specimens showing possible Hemoglobin G during testing, resumed reporting as “Hemoglobin G”.

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333
          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted October 16, 2018



          Texas Department of State Health Services - Laboratory

          Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Reminders

          The Texas DSHS Laboratory in Austin will be closed:
          11/22/2018 - Thursday
          11/23/2018 – Friday


          Newborn Screening (NBS)

          Testing Notices:

          • NBS specimens received and accessioned on Wednesday, 11/21/2018 will be tested immediately by the NBS laboratory.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Thursday, 11/22/2018 (Thanksgiving Day).
          • NBS testing will resume on Saturday, 11/24/2018.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Sunday, 11/25/2018.

          Healthcare Provider Reminders: 

          • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
          • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as quickly as possible.

          Clinical Chemistry

          Testing Notices:

          • The Clinical Chemistry laboratory must receive specimen submissions for total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine testing by Wednesday, 11/21/2018 to complete testing prior to the holiday.
          • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid profile, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Fridays or on the day before a state-observed holiday.

          Healthcare Provider Reminders:

          • Specimens submitted for lead and total hemoglobin testing must be received within 14 days of collection.
          • Specimens submitted for glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine testing must be received according to specimen submission guidelines available at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/mrs_labtests_toc.shtm

          Microbiology

          Testing Notices:

          • Specimens for rabies testing should be shipped via Greyhound Bus.  Specimens received between 8 AM and noon on Wednesday, 11/21/2018 will be tested Friday, 11/23/2018 and positive results will be called out before noon. 
          • Emergency testing will be available on Friday, 11/23/2018 and Saturday, 11/24/2018 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595) if specimen receipt can be guaranteed.   Negative specimen results will be available Monday, 11/26/2018.  All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 11/26/2018 and reported before 5 PM.

          Healthcare Provider Reminders:

          • Viral Isolation Laboratory:  Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/21/2018 – Sunday, 11/25/2018.  If specimens are collected during this time period, please store at -70°C or below and ship specimens the following week, beginning Monday, 11/26/2018 on dry ice.
          • Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory (TB): To receive expedited AFB Smear and/or NAAfor M. tuberculosis test results before the holiday, please ensure that specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 11/21/2018. Please telephone expedited test requests to 512-776-7342.

             

          Questions? Contact the Texas DSHS Laboratory:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or for local calls 512-776-7318

          Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Or: mailto:ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted October 2, 2018



          Changes to Newborn Screening CAH Testing and Result Reporting Statements Effective September 17, 2018

          The Texas DSHS Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory added a second-tier reflex test for screening of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). Two new CAH result reporting statements were added, and all other abnormal CAH results were updated to reflect the addition of this testing methodology. These updates went into effect on September 17, 2018.

          A full list of all test results can be found here:

          http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/nbs/results/

          Reminder: Read screening result notes fully before taking action.

          Original notification: “Changes to Newborn Screening CAH Testing and Result Reporting Statements” sent on September 4, 2018, can be found here.


          Questions / Comments

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted September 18, 2018



          September is National Newborn Screening Awareness Month

          NBS National Newborn month

          Thank you for ensuring the babies of Texas are screened!

          Newborn screening is recognized as the largest and most successful public health disease prevention program in the US.

          Your involvement in early detection and treatment is crucial to prevent death or a lifetime of severe disabilities. Through the Texas Newborn Screening Panel, more than 850 babies are diagnosed with one of the 53 screened conditions each year.

          See and share Newborn screening:  More Than Drops on a Card.


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          Questions / Comments

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          NBS month

          Posted September 10, 2018

          Newborn Screening Facility Report Card Change

          In February 2015, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) formalized a series of recommendations regarding newborn screening (NBS) timeliness goals. One recommendation is that NBS specimens should be received at the state laboratory as soon as possible; ideally within 24 hours of collection.

          To help facilities monitor the progress of this recommendation, the NBS Facility Report Cards will change starting with August 2018 data.

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted September 10, 2018


          Attention Newborn Screening Submitters Change to hemoglobin reporting

          Due to issues with quality control material, effective 9/6/2018, “Hemoglobin G” will no longer be reported. Specimens showing possible Hemoglobin G during testing will be reported as “Other” hemoglobin variant.

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


          Posted September 06, 2018


          Changes to Newborn Screening CAH Testing and Result Reporting Statements

          The Texas DSHS Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory is adding a second-tier reflex test for screening of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). 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 are scheduled to go into effect September 17, 2018. All changes are indicated in red. Please see Attachment.

          A full list of all possible results can be found here: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/nbs/results/.

          Reminders:

          • Read Screening Result Notes fully before taking action.
          • Contact the DSHS Laboratory with any questions:

                   Telephone: 1-888-963-7111 X7585 or x2638 

                   Email: mailto:NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


          Posted September 04, 2018



          Attention Newborn Screening Submitters

          2016 Newborn Screening kits with a serial number beginning with 16 (16-XXXXXXX) EXPIRE on 

          September 1, 2018.

          Check the Expiration Date on Your Newborn Screening kits.

          Do Not Use ‘16 kits to collect NBS specimens. 

          All specimens collected on ‘16 kits after September 1, 2018 will be REJECTED.

            NBS4 (Insurance/Self-Pay) Kit Exchange Process

          • Complete the G-6D “Newborn Screening Supplies” order form
          • Count the number of expired NBS4 kits. Write the number of forms to be exchanged in the appropriate “Quantity Requested” box
          • Write “Exchange” in the “Billing – Purchase Order Number” box section of the form
          • Send the completed form and expired NBS4 kits to the Container Preparation Group. The mailing address can be found on the website .  
          • Exchanges will only be accepted for up to 3 months after the kit expiration date (e.g. kits expired on September 1, 2018 need to be received by DSHS on or before December 1, 2018)
          • Allow DSHS 5 business days from receipt of exchange request to process the request.

            Note:

          • To order additional new kits, complete a second G-6D “Newborn Screening Supplies” order form. Orders for additional kits will not be processed from the same G-6D form as the request for exchange of expired kits. Only the exchange will be processed.
          • Do NOT return expired NBS3 (Medicaid/Charity Care/CHIP) kits. Dispose of them appropriately.

          Additional Information

          For more information review the Frequently Asked Questions section about kit exchange Frequently Asked Questions section about kit exchange on the Newborn Screening website.

          Questions / Comments

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7661 or for local calls 512-776-7661

          Email: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

          Website: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/newbornscreening.shtm

          Posted August 31, 2018


          The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section  is proposing changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

          The purpose of the changes is to repeal rules §73.54 and §73.55 related to the Fee Schedule for Clinical Testing and Newborn Screening, as well as Chemical Analyses, from TAC. Additionally, rule §73.41 will be amended to direct stakeholders to the LSS website to view the most current laboratory fee schedule.


          Changes to the Laboratory’s Public Fee Schedule will be made based on the business needs of the LSS and the public health needs of the department and posted on the Laboratory’s website for stakeholder review. Changes to available laboratory testing and related pricing may include implementing new testing methodologies, updating fees to reflect the cost of testing, and eliminating certain low volume tests to make more efficient use of staff time and to reduce costs. Any increase in fees may include processes for stakeholder input as well as customer communication regarding all changes to the fee schedule.

          A full draft of the proposed rule changes may be found in the draft rules section here. https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking

          For questions or comments please contact Martha Thompson at martha.thompson@dshs.texas.gov or 

          (512) 776-6191 by August 31, 2018.


          Posted August 20, 2018 


          Notice of Rider 37 Stakeholder Meeting - DSHS Newborn Screening Program
          Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:00pm – 4:00pm

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will hold a stakeholder meeting to accept comments as the agency develops a report for the S.B. 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, Article II, Department of State Health Services, Rider 37. DSHS will receive oral or written comments by interested persons. Individuals can present oral statements when called upon in order of registration. DSHS will determine the comment time for each individual by the total number of persons registered to speak in the time allotted. If time permits, each speaker will have three minutes, but this amount may be adjusted to allow for more registrants to provide comments.

          "Department of State Health Services Rider 37 Stakeholder Meeting Presentation Link July 12, 2018"  

          Location:

          Department of State Health Services Central Campus
          Moreton Building – Room M-100
          1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX
          For location details: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/visitor/complex.shtm

          Background:

          The 2017-18 General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017 (Article II, Department of State Health Services, Rider 37) requires the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to study the most effective way to bill private insurers for newborn screening kits. The study must include the feasibility of requiring DSHS to bill private insurers for the cost of newborn screening kits and of requiring private insurers to automatically update their payment rates for the cost of newborn screening kits based on panel changes.

          Stakeholders may provide comments in person on July 12th or submit written comments until August 3, 2018. Stakeholders are encouraged to share this notice with colleagues and affiliated organizations, partners, and anyone who may be interested in this report.

          Written comments may be sent to:
          E-mail: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov
          Fax: 512-776-7221 Attention: Newborn Screening
          Mail:
          Texas Department of State Health Services
          Newborn Screening Laboratory, MC 1947
          PO Box 149347
          Austin, TX 78714-9347

          Review the Stakeholder Meeting Agenda for details regarding meeting topics and comment opportunities.


          Attention Newborn Screening Submitters

          CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR NEWBORN SCREENING KITS

          Questions / Comments

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Website: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/newbornscreening.shtm 

          Posted Jun 15, 2018 


          Survey on Billing Processes/Challenges for Texas Newborn Screening Kits

          DSHS is conducting this survey to:

          • Gain understanding of potential billing barriers faced by healthcare providers
          • Gather information as part of a larger study by DSHS to assess the most effective way to bill private insurers for newborn screening kits.   

          Click here to complete this quick survey. Your responses are confidential and any information provided will be used as part of the billing effectiveness study only. Your participation is greatly appreciated. 

          Please complete survey by Sunday, April 15, 2018.

           Re-posted Apr 18, 2018 


          Newborn Screening – Medicaid vs. PAID Kits

          Choosing the Correct Kit for Specimen Collection

          posted Jan 12, 2018


          The New Year of 2018 is Here

          Dates need to be recorded accurately (including year). Be mindful of the year change. Invalid dates (months, days or years) will cause unnecessary delays in testing or a specimen to be REJECTED.  

          posted Jan 03, 2018


          Hurricane Harvey Contingencies: Newborn Screening

          Important Actions:

          • For All Newborns in your care: 
            • Collect 1st screens at 24-48 hours of age.
            • Collect 2nd screens at 7-14 days of age.
          • The 2nd screen may be the earliest opportunity to identify a newborn screening disorder.
            • If the 1st screen was missed, collect a specimen as soon as possible,
            • Collect the 2nd screen soon after 7 days of age.
          • Ensure the parent/guardian contact information will be valid throughout any potential family/baby relocation.
          • Ship specimens as soon as possible.
          • Ensure that newborn screening results are known, documented, and discussed with the family/caregiver.
          • Facilitate repeat or confirmatory testing, appropriate subspecialty referral and timely intervention if necessary
            Services:
          • The Texas Newborn Screening Program is fully operational and here to provide service and support.
          • Contact the DSHS Laboratory if you need specific help or have a suggestion on how DSHS can assist you with getting newborn screening specimens to the Laboratory. 

          Posted Sept 7, 2017


          • Effective June 1, 2017, The Texas Department of State Health Services’ Laboratory Services Section Newborn Screening Program will offer a molecular testing services to identify variants in the Very Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase (VLCAD) gene. Newborn Screening specimens with screening results of “Possible VLCAD” will be reflexed to a second-tier sequencing analysis at no additional charge to the health care provider. A VLCAD DNA result report separate from the regular Newborn Screening result report will then be sent to the submitting health care facility.  
               Posted 5/26/2017
          • Change in Laboratory Testing Acceptance Criteria – Specimen Labeling Must Include Two Patient Identifiers
            Effective September 1, 2016, all specimens must be labeled with at least two patient specific identifiers; both a primary and a secondary identifier. The identifiers must appear on both the primary container (or card) and the associated submission form. Please see the specimen acceptance criteria update letter for additional details and acceptable patient identifiers.
               Posted 7/25/16
          • Changes to NBS Cystic Fibrosis Testing and Result Reporting Statements
               Posted 5/26/2016
          • New National Recommendations for Timely Collection and Submission of Newborn Screening Specimens
               Effective immediately

          Note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

          Last updated November 5, 2019