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Capitol Health Call
August 13, 2014

House Passes Bill to Support Newborn Screening

JAMA. 2014;312(6):589. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9497

Efforts to screen newborns for at least 31 genetic and metabolic diseases gained another 5 years of funding when the House passed the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act (HR 1281) on June 24. The Senate passed similar legislation in late January.

The bill renews funding for federal programs that help states improve and expand newborn screening. It also requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate laboratory quality and surveillance for newborn screening programs. Last November, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that “hundreds of thousands” of the nearly 3 million newborn screening tests the newspaper tracked arrived at state laboratories late, potentially delaying interventions to prevent newborn deaths and severe disabilities (http://bit.ly/1iWCWhB).

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