Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 8B-ii. Compehensive Newborn Screening.


§ 7–858.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Birthing facility" means a facility or other place, other than a hospital or the mother's home, that provides antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal care for both mother and child during and after normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

(2) "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.

(3) "Department" means the Department of Health.

(4) "Hearing impairment" means a dysfunction of the auditory system, of any type or degree, that is sufficient to interfere with the acquisition and development of speech and language skills, with or without the use of sound amplification.

(5) "Hospital" means a facility other than a birthing facility or the mother's home, that provides antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal care for both mother and child during and after pregnancy.

(6) "Metabolic disorder" means a disorder which results in a defect in the function of a specific enzyme or protein.

(7) "Nurse-midwife" means a registered nurse certified pursuant to Chapter 58 of Title 17 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (17 DCMR § 5800 et seq.).

(8) "Parent" means an individual who is legally recognized to have all rights provided under District law with respect to a child.


(Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-290, § 301, 66 DCR 1668.)


§ 7–858.02. Newborn screening and testing.

(a) Each hospital, birthing facility, and nurse-midwife shall:

(1) Inform and educate the parent of a newborn of the purpose and availability of newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease, hearing impairment, and metabolic disorders;

(2) Screen all newborns delivered or cared for at the hospital, home, or birthing facility for critical congenital heart disease, hearing impairment, and metabolic disorders, unless the newborn's parent withholds consent for the screening procedure;

(3) Document the screening results or the parent's refusal to permit the screening;

(4) Provide the screening results to the parent of the newborn and the newborn's primary care provider;

(5) When a screening discloses a positive result, provide recommendations for follow-up testing and treatment to the parent of the newborn and to the newborn's primary care provider; and

(6) Notify the Department of the number of infants screened, the results of the screening, and any documented parental refusal.

(b) The Mayor shall establish specific procedures for each screening through rulemaking and may revise the type of newborn screening that hospitals, birthing facilities, and nurse-midwives are required to conduct.

(c) Except for statistical data compiled without reference to the identity of any individual, all information obtained from any individual or from specimens from any newborn shall be held confidential and be considered a confidential medical record, except any information for which a parent consents to release. Each parent shall be informed of the scope of the information requested to be released and the purpose of releasing the information before the release of any confidential information.


(Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-290, § 302, 66 DCR 1668.)


§ [7-858.03]. Discharge standards.

(a) Each hospital, birthing facility, and nurse-midwife shall provide to each parent comprehensive newborn education and a discharge form approved by the Department with information regarding the newborn's hospital course of treatment, including screenings, procedures, and other tests.

(b) The Mayor shall develop and issue standards for post-partum education, including breastfeeding, family planning, safe sleep practices, tobacco exposure, vaccinations, car safety, basic newborn care, and the results and rationale for newborn screenings.

(c) The Mayor shall establish the content of newborn discharge forms through rulemaking.


(Apr. 11, 2019[Projected], D.C. Law 22-290, § 302[303], 66 DCR 1668.)


§ 7–858.04. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.


(Apr. 11, 2019[Projected], D.C. Law 22-290, § 303[304], 66 DCR 1668.)