States Mississippi

Mississippi currently screens for 60 conditions. Each state runs its program differently, for more detailed information please visit their website at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/41,0,101.html.

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What Conditions are Screened For in Mississippi?

About Newborn Screening in Mississippi

Program Overview:

In Mississippi, your newborn will be screened for a number of conditions that they are born with but that may not show outward symptoms. The conditions for which your baby will be screened for are rare. However, some are also very serious and can result in intellectual disability or death if not treated. Babies with these conditions appear normal at birth and it is only with time that the condition may affect the baby's mental or physical development, causing other medical problems, which could result in permanent damage.

Proper screening at birth can discover these problems early. With early diagnosis and treatment, some genetic disorders can often be managed effectively. The newborn screen helps to identify babies who need treatment such as medication or special diets.

Most tests use a few drops of blood from pricking the baby's heel. These drops are absorbed on a screening card that is taken to a laboratory for testing. Newborn screening tests are reliable, but may not always detect a disorder. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions if they follow up to tell you that your newborn’s screening test came back abnormal as the sooner your newborn gets treatment, the better.

How is Newborn Screening Paid for in ­­Mississippi?

The newborn screening cost is $100.00 per intial screen and the cost for repeat screening, if necessary, depends on the reason the repeat is needed. The Newborn Screening Program charges the birthing facility and not the infant/family.

Policies and Resources

Opt-Out:

All newborns must participate in the newborn screening unless a parent or guardian objects on religious grounds.

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, Mississippi 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 for their loved ones.

Children with conditions detected during newborn screening will often need special food, sometimes called “medical foods” or “medically-necessary formulas”. Families can receive some funding from the State for metabolic formulas through the Children with Special Healthcare Needs program to help provide their loved one with the nutrition they need. Eligibility is based upon diagnosis and income. Private insurers, Medicaid, Title V and WIC are other programs that may also cover special formulas. Low-protein foods must be purchased directly from a vendor.

Many families will not have had experience raising a child with special health care needs before. Thankfully, Mississippi’s Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Center is here to help. According to The University of Southern Mississippi’s website, this is a family-focused, family-managed resource center that empowers families of children with special health care needs to be partners in decisions concerning the health of their children. The F2F Center is a collaboration of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies, the Children’s Medical Program of the Mississippi State Department of Health, and LIFE of Mississippi, Inc. Located at the Resource Library at the Jackson Medical Mall, the F2F Center is managed by the parent of a child with special health care needs. Through project activities, the F2F Center works to enable families to be knowledgeable, comfortable and competent in addressing the Title V system with regard to their child’s unique health care needs as well as advocating for ongoing and continuous quality improvement. For more information or to get involved, call the F2F parent coordinator at 1.888.313.1718, e-mail at Jacqueline.Washington@msdh.state.ms.us or visit the Resource Library in Suite 480 at the Jackson Medical Mall at 350 West Woodrow Wilson Drive in Jackson, Mississippi.

Storage and Use of Dried Blood Spots:

After your newborn has been screened, their blood specimen and related information will remain. The department must maintain records of newborn screening tests for 2 years. Bloodspot specimen cards may only be stored for one year and may not be used for research purposes. The department may not disclose identifiable information related to the newborn screening process, but statistical data are public record and available to be released in an aggregate form. Misuse of newborn screening information is punishable with a fine of up to $500 for each occurrence.

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

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