States Louisiana

Louisiana currently screens for 33 conditions. Each state runs its program differently, for more detailed information please visit their website at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/470.

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The state of Louisiana does not have a brochure available. You can find more state specific information at their website.

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What Conditions are Screened For in Louisiana?

About Newborn Screening in Louisiana

Program Overview:

The goal of newborn screening is to detect genetic, metabolic or congenital conditions, which are present at the time of birth. Children with these conditions usually look healthy when they are born and the screening process strives to detect these unseen conditions early. If they are found and treated early, it is often possible to prevent physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and early deaths.

A blood specimen is taken from every newborn before leaving the hospital. The baby's heel is pricked and a few drops of blood are collected on a filter paper card. Then the card is sent to a laboratory for testing. Your baby's doctor usually receives the test results within two weeks. The doctor then reviews the results with you at your baby's first follow-up visit. If the screen comes back “abnormal”, it does not mean your child has a condition but it is necessary that you follow your doctor’s instructions in a timely manner in order to get your newborn the care they need as soon as possible.

How is Newborn Screening Paid for in ­­Louisiana?

The NBS cost is $30.00 per child.

Policies and Resources

Opt-Out:

Every newborn born in Louisiana will be screened unless their parent or guardian objects to participation. This is not encouraged and it is important to discuss this option with your doctor in order to make the most informed decision about your newborn’s health as possible.

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, Louisiana has many 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.

If your child has private insurance, including HMOs, self-insurers, employee welfare benefit plans, health, hospital or medical expense insurance, accident or sickness insurance, they are required to cover low protein food products for your child. The coverage will only apply to formulas and foods obtained from an approved source and the coverage may still be subject to deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. The maximum benefit is $200 per month.

The State health department newborn screening program and WIC provide special formulas to treat inborn errors of metabolism of guidelines regarding clinical and dietary management services and administrative guidelines are followed. In order to get special formulas for treatment from the state’s Genetic Disease Program and/or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Infants, Women, and Children (WIC) the patient must be a resident of Louisiana, must receive clinical and dietary management services through a metabolic center, provide necessary blood specimens, dietary records, all insurance forms relative to charges for special formula must be signed and submitted by the parent, and the parent must inform the Genetics Program Office if any changes to insurance occurs.

In addition to provisions which help families obtain the medical formulas and foods necessary to treat their loved one, Louisiana's Children's Special Health Services Program provides medical and family support services to Louisiana children with special health care needs and their families. Children’s Special Health Services serves as the principle public agency to assure that children and youth with special health care needs in Louisiana have access to health care services designed to minimize their disability and maximize their probability of enjoying an independent and self-sufficient life.

More specifically, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children and youth generally. To find out what medical and family support services your child may be eligible for, fill out the application located on the CYSHCN website.

Storage and Use of Dried Blood Spots:

After your newborn’s blood has been run through the screening process, there will be a bit of blood remaining on the sample card which is called a “residual dried blood spot”. In Louisiana, the residual dried blood spot storage will be stored for one month. While in storage, the state public health laboratory may conduct experiments, projects, and other undertakings to develop tests to improve the detection of metabolic and genetic conditions.

Laboratories within the Southeastern region (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) may exchange blood spot samples with different states.

To see a copy of the blood spot card used in Louisiana click here.

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