Newborn Genetic and Metabolic Disease Screening
State public health programs screen an estimated 4.1 million infants annually for genetic and metabolic disorders. Early detection of these abnormalities can prevent severe disability, mental retardation or even death and may also save states and families money by avoiding financially burdensome medical costs and state institutional services.
Comprehensive state newborn screening programs involve more than the initial screening. Diagnosis, follow-up, treatment and evaluation are also vital components to ensure that children with potentially life threatening conditions receive necessary care.
All state legislatures play a key role in the newborn screening system as the bodies responsible for appropriating funds or authorizing fees to make newborn screening possible. The extent of legislative involvement in the newborn screening system varies.
For more information, go to http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/genetics/newborn.htm