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SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1919


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts




Senate, November 14, 2013.

BILL #:  S1008

BILL STATUS:  Favorable with Amendment





For the committee,


SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1919

The committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the Senate Bill relative to newborn pulse oximetry screenings for congenital heart defects (Senate, No. 1008),- reports, recommending that the same ought to pass with an amendment substituting a new draft of the same title (Senate, No. 1919).


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen



An Act relative to newborn pulse oximetry screenings for congenital heart defects.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:-

              "Birthing facility", an inpatient or ambulatory health care facility licensed by the department of public health that provides birthing and newborn care services.

              “Congenital heart defects screening”, the identification of a newborn that may have a congenital heart defect through the use of a physiologic test.

              “Pulse oximetry testing”, a non-invasive test that estimates the percentage of hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen.

              SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of public health, in consultation with the perinatal advisory committee, shall develop regulations for a hospital that provides birthing and newborn services or a birthing facility that performs congenital heart defects screenings on all newborns through pulse oximetry testing. The department may approve another test to conduct congenital heart defects screenings; provided, however, that the test shall be, at the discretion of the department, at least as accurate, widely available and cost effective as pulse oximetry testing.

              These regulations shall consider evidence-based guidance, including, but shall not be limited to, recommended guidance issued by the federal Health and Human Services Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. A screening shall be performed before the newborn infant is discharged from the birthing facility or hospital to the care of the parent or guardian, or as the department may provide by regulation; provided, however, that the screening shall not be performed if the parent or guardian of the newborn infant object to the screening based upon the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent or guardian.

              SECTION 3.  A hospital that provides birthing and newborn services or a birthing facility shall adopt protocols for screening for congenital heart defects with pulse oximetry or another test approved by the department under section 2 for all newborns prior to discharge, based on the department’s regulations, not later than July 1, 2014.

              SECTION 4. The department shall review the protocols required under section 3 and the implementation of these protocols as part of its hospital licensure and birthing facility licensure review processes.

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