Rep. Millie Hamner’s bill to improve newborn screening practices in Colorado was signed by the governor on Friday

Deepan Dutta

House District 61 Rep. Millie Hamner’s bill to modernize and update Colorado’s newborn screening program was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday. The law aims to provide more accurate, timely, and comprehensive newborn screenings in Colorado.

“This bill is about supporting healthy babies and families throughout Colorado,” said Rep. Hamner. “There are nearly 66,000 babies born in Colorado every year; investing in early intervention can change the lives of future generations.”

Prior to this new law, parents of babies born on a Friday would have to wait until the following Monday to receive their newborn screening lab results. For conditions where treatments are time-sensitive, having a screening performed in a timelier manner could be lifesaving. HB18-1006 will modernize Colorado’s newborn screening program by:

Strengthening the genetic metabolic and screening program;

Bringing state requirements current with changes made at the federal level;

Protecting the timeliness of the screenings by ensuring that labs are open a minimum of six days a week year round, without exceptions. This is a key provision of the bill because newborn screenings are most effective when done in a timely manner to ensure early intervention when necessary; and Enhancing newborn hearing screening programs by updating language to ensure a strong newborn screening program.

With the Governor’s signing, the bill goes into effect on July 1, 2018.

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