Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 8B-i. Newborn Heart Screening.


§ 7–857.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Critical congenital heart disease” means a group of heart defects that cause serious, life-threatening symptoms and require intervention within the first days or first year of life.

(2) “Health benefit plan” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 31-3301.01(20).

(3) “Health insurer” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 31-3301.01(22).

(4) “Hospital” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-501(a)(1).

(5) “Maternity center” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-501(a)(2).

(6) “Nurse-midwife” means a registered nurse certified pursuant to 17 DCMR § 5800 et seq.

(7) “Pulse oximetry” means the non-invasive procedure used to measure oxygen levels in the blood.


(Sept. 17, 2015, D.C. Law 21-20, § 2, 62 DCR 8845.)


§ 7–857.02. Critical congenital heart disease screening.

(a) Every newborn delivered in a hospital, maternity center, or home shall be screened for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry until an alternative test for critical congenital heart disease is adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

(b)(1) Each hospital, maternity center, and nurse-midwife shall:

(A) Inform and educate the parent of the purpose and availability of critical congenital heart disease screening (“screening”);

(B) Perform the screening unless the procedure is refused based on the parent’s religious or personal beliefs;

(C) Document the screening results or the parent’s refusal to allow the screening;

(D) Provide the screening results to the parent of the newborn and, if known, the newborn’s primary care provider;

(E) When a newborn tests positive for critical congenital heart disease, provide recommendations for follow-up testing and treatment to the parent of the newborn and, if known, the newborn’s primary care provider; and

(F) On a quarterly basis, notify the Department of Health of the number of infants screened for critical congenital heart disease, the results of those screenings, and any documented parental refusal based on religious or personal beliefs.

(2) Screening results shall include, at minimum, the age of the infant at the time of screening, actual screening values, and the final interpretation of the results.

(c) The screening required by subsection (a) of this section shall be performed in a manner consistent with the standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics for critical congenital heart disease.


(Sept. 17, 2015, D.C. Law 21-20, § 3, 62 DCR 8845.)


§ 7–857.03. Health benefit plan reimbursement.

All health insurer health benefit plans shall reimburse for screenings conducted under this chapter.


(Sept. 17, 2015, D.C. Law 21-20, § 4, 62 DCR 8845.)


§ 7–857.04. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.


(Sept. 17, 2015, D.C. Law 21-20, § 5, 62 DCR 8845.)