CCHD Screening Legislation Heats up on State Level | Cardiology Magazine
Heart of Health Policy | Significant progress has been made on the state level for advancing critical congenital heart defect (CHD) screening legislation so far this year. Arizona, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Virginia have all passed laws requiring CCHD screening before newborns are discharged, bringing the total number of states who have enacted laws to 36. Additionaly, Mississippi, Montana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have CCHD legislation or regulations in the works.
After years of medical specialty societies and patients advocating for universal screening of CCHD in newborns, pulse oximetry has finally become routine in the majority of states. Pulse oximetry has proven to be a safe, effective, inexpensive and noninvasive method of screening for this common defect, but it has been a long road to ensuring its widespread use. Legislative efforts ramped up in 2011 when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recommended adding CCHD to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, a list of hereditary and congenital conditions that are recommended nationally for inclusion in each state’s newborn screening program. Following the recommendation, the ACC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association jointly released a white paper on the benefits of pulse oximetry testing.
Passing CCHD screening legislation is one of the College’s state advocacy priorities and the ACC is continually working with local ACC Chapters, ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Section, and partners such as Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts to ensure the voice of CCHD patients and caregivers is heard on the state level as well as Capitol Hill.
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