Texas Newborn Screening Advances

New tests supported; Long-term funding stream identified

As part of a broad effort developed in concert with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the 86th Texas Legislature passed three items to help Texas catch up and keep up with the newborn screening tests recommended and implemented in other states.  

SB500 by Nelson (Zerwas), the supplemental appropriations bill, provides funding to fully implement X-ALD screening at DSHS. (Effective 6/6/2019)

SB748 by Kolkhorst (Davis |Thompson) and SB747 by Kolkhorst (Lucio III) , similarly, create a newborn screening preservation account to retain certain revenue in excess of costs and additional recommended screens in the future.  (Effective 9/1/2019)

Last, SB747 by Kolkhorst (Lucio III) requires that newborn screening fees cover costs, allows for the fee schedule posted on DSHS’s website (rather than adopted by rule), and clarifies well-child care coverage includes newborn screening.  (Effective 9/1/2019)