WASHINGTON – Today, AACC released a position statement on newborn screening, the practice of testing every newborn for medical conditions that cause disabilities, developmental delays, or death.

The importance of newborn screening was underscored on June 24, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 1281), a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes funding for various newborn screening programs for the next five years. Thanks to earlier legislation, the quality of newborn screening nationwide has greatly improved, with 44 states and Washington, D.C. now requiring screening for at least 29 of 31 treatable core conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this has resulted in 12,500 babies receiving life-saving treatments each year.

AACC strongly supports Congress’s continued aid to newborn screening programs, which are integral to improving children’s health.

“AACC would like to commend Congress for their leadership on this important legislation, which will help virtually every one of the more than 4 million infants born in the U.S. each year,” said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. “Equally important to the creation, maintenance, and improvement of newborn screening programs are the significant efforts of public health laboratories. Moving forward, public and private laboratories must continue to work together in the research and development of tests that will enable screening for additional diseases, while maximizing benefits to newborns by using appropriate screening cut-offs and ensuring prompt analysis and timely reporting of critical screening results.”

AACC’s statement affirms the organization’s endorsement of public and private efforts to maintain, improve, and expand newborn screening programs. It also stresses the importance of identifying additional conditions for screening beyond the core conditions screened in most states, and the use of residual specimens for quality assurance and continuous improvements in children’s health.

About AACC

Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of breaking laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.myadlm.org.