What Conditions are Screened For in Texas?
Amino Acid Disorders
Benign Hyperphenylalaninemia (H-PHE)
Biopterin Defect in Cofactor Biosynthesis (BIOPT-BS)
Biopterin Defect in Cofactor Regeneration (BIOPT-REG)
Citrullinemia, Type II (CIT II)
Classic Phenylketonuria (PKU)
Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
Tyrosinemia, Type II (TYR II)
Tyrosinemia, Type III (TYR III)
Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders
Organic Acid Conditions
About Newborn Screening in Texas
The Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory provides testing services in support of the Texas Newborn Screening Program, which tests about 800,000 newborn specimens each year. Texas law requires these laboratory tests to help find infants who may have one of the 53 conditions.
The test requires a hearing screen and a simple heel stick blood sample collected from newborns shortly after birth and another at one to two weeks of age. If the laboratory test detects an infant with an abnormal result, the NBS Program's Clinical Care Coordination team initiates the process of follow-up with a health care provider for confirmatory testing. If it is determined your child has a condition, treatment will begin immediately.
Early detection of these 53 disorders allows early treatment that can prevent serious complications, such as growth problems, developmental delays, deafness, blindness, intellectual disabilities, seizures, and early death. The faster treatment begins, the greater chances your child will live a healthy life. It is important that your doctor have a current phone number or address by which to reach you just in case your newborn’s tests come back with a possible positive result. If your doctor does reach out to you regarding the test results, respond immediately and follow all instructions as quickly as possible.
How is Newborn Screening Paid for in Texas?
The newborn screening fee is $55.24 per child. Health care providers or facilities buy the specimen collection kit and it will be billed to private pay or insurance for covered patients. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides specimen collection kits at no cost to those covered by Medicaid and CHIP. DSHS is reimbursed by Medicaid, CHIP, and Title V.
Policies and Resources
All newborns must participate in newborn screening unless a parent or guardian objects on religious grounds. The person who administers the screening must place a statement of refusal, signed by a parent or guardian, in the child's medical record.
Support for families:
One of the concerns many families have when they first learn their child has a condition detected by the newborn screening program is the increase in health care costs. Texas has various laws and programs which are in place to help families get access to affordable care for their loved one with a metabolic condition.
All newborns who are diagnosed with a metabolic condition will be referred to the Children With Special Health Care Needs Program (CSHCN) where it will be determined if they are eligible for that program’s services. To be eligible, an individual must be under 21 years old and meet financial requirements. If a child has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), they will be eligible for services throughout their entire life. If a child is determined to be eligible, they will be provided with special dietary formula to help treat their condition, among other services. To see if your child qualifies, visit the CSHCN website.
If Medicaid, Children With Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) or private insurance is not available to provide care for an individual with a condition, the Newborn Screening Program Texas will provide assistance, if funds are available. To be eligible, the individual must have a condition detected by newborn screening or have an out of range newborn screen, be a Texas resident, have income within the guidelines and be able to provide documentation of all the requirements upon request. The program will provide medical food, medications, vitamins and other testing and follow-up care at no cost or at a reduced cost to those approved for the program benefits. Funding will be limited to those with an income at or below 350% of the federal poverty income guideline who meet other program guidelines. From there, if low funds require it, it is possible there will be a hierarchy of individuals who will have first priority to receive support from the program. Children from birth to two years old are the first in order.
If an individual is covered by a group health benefit plan, the insurer must provide coverage for the medical foods necessary to treat Phenylketonuria (PKU) and other heritable diseases. The coverage of the prescribed formulas must be identical to the coverage of other prescriptions under the plan, which means they may still be subject to a co-payment or deductible, depending on your plan.
Storage and Use of Dried Blood Spots:
For further information about this issue, please visit the Texas State Department of State Health Services website.