States North Carolina

North Carolina currently screens for 37 conditions. Each state runs its program differently, for more detailed information please visit their website at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dph/wch/families/newbornmetabolic.htm.

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What Conditions are Screened For in North Carolina?

About Newborn Screening in North Carolina

Program Overview:

Most newborns are born healthy. However, there are some health problems that may not be detected on a routine exam by your baby´s physician. This is why blood tests are used to screen newborns for these problems.

Most tests use a few drops of blood from pricking the baby's heel. These drops are absorbed on a screening card that is taken to the State Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh for testing. To prevent the effects of a condition, the sample should be drawn during the infant´s first two to three days of life.

The sample is tested for conditions that may cause intellectual disability or death, if untreated. After you get home from the hospital, you may be contacted by your baby´s health care provider to bring your baby in for a repeat blood sample. It is important that you follow-up quickly. If you have any concerns about the results of the screening tests, please contact your baby´s health care provider.

How is Newborn Screening Paid for in ­­North Carolina?

There is a $44.00 fee that applies to a laboratory test performed on the initial blood samples collected from a newborn. This test is conducted by the State Laboratory of Public Health. The fee is a departmental receipt of the Department.

Policies and Resources

Opt-Out:

Physicians must submit a blood sample for newborn screening unless a parent objects for any reason. Parents who decline screening must provide written documentation of refusal, which must be added to the child's medical record.

Support for families:

One of the concerns some families may have when they find out their child has a condition detected through the newborn screening program is the increase in health care costs. Fortunately, North Carolina has laws and programs which have been put in place to make treatment of these conditions more affordable for families who are looking to provide the best care to their loved ones.

While there are no private insurance requirements for coverage, the State newborn screening program provides treatment products or medication for identified children. The State services include the provision of genetic counseling and necessary dietary food products and medications. The State will provide them only when both medically necessary as well as not available to the family through any other source.

For more information about what services are available for your loved one, North Carolina has set up a help line to help families navigate the process. The Help Line is a toll-free help line for those living with, caring for and concerned about a child with special health care needs. Callers can learn about potential health care programs as well as funding resources available to North Carolina residents. A qualified person will be able to discuss eligibility, enrollment, and services available under government programs as well as many other applicable topics. By calling 1-800-737-3028 Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., you and your family can be on the path to obtaining exactly what your loved one needs.

Storage and Use of Dried Blood Spots:

The maximum retention rate of newborn blood spots screens is 5 years in North Carolina.

To see a copy of the blood spot card used in North Carolina, click here.