Austin Laboratory Correspondence and Bulletins


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NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 500 µL Purple Top Capillary MAP Tube (K2EDTA)

Lot #: 0045093

Expiration Date: 08/31/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

 What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted August 02, 2021


2020 Texas Newborn Screening Annual Report


TOGETHER in 2020 we:

  • Screened about 370,000 babies and over 718,000 newborn screening (NBS) specimens.
  • Identified 867 babies born in 2020 (to date) affected by one of the NBS Disorders.

Texas babies depend on the entire NBS System - KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

2020 Texas Newborn Screening by the Numbers provides:


ACHDNC* Recommended 

Timeliness Performance Measures (Goal = 95%)

Texas

status

Initial NBS specimen collection:  First NBS screens should be collected within the appropriate time frame for the newborn’s condition but no later than 48 hours after birth

97.6%

Transportation of initial NBS specimens: First NBS screens should be received at the laboratory as soon as possible; ideally within 24 hours of collection. Specimens received within 24 hours of collection.

20.1%

Transportation of initial NBS specimens: First NBS screens should be received at the laboratory as soon as possible. Specimens received within 48 hours of collection.

65.5%

Reporting of initial screen presumptive positive time critical condition** results – Results should be reported to healthcare provider as soon as possible, but no later than five days of life

40.7%

Reporting of initial screen presumptive positive time sensitive condition** results – Results should be reported as soon as possible, but no later than seven days of life

87.0%

Completion of all initial screen NBS tests within seven days of life with results reported to the healthcare provider as soon as possible

86.4%


* U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC)

**List of NBS Disorders by Time Criticality

Questions / Comments

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333  OR  512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS BRANCH * LABORATORY SERVICES SECTION * PO BOX 149347 * AUSTIN, TX 78714-3194

Posted July 30 , 2021



Newborn Screening Fee Increase

 

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) began screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) on June 1, 2021. The Newborn Screening Fee is expected to increase as a result of this new addition.  

Q: When does the increase start?

A: The fee increase is expected to be effective on January 1, 2022.  

Q: How much will the fee increase?

A: The fee for each insurance/self-pay test kit is expected to increase by about $3.00.   Stakeholders will be notified of the new fee a minimum of 90 days prior to the increase.  

Q: Why is the fee increasing?

A: DSHS expanded the Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Panel to include Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). The test methodology detects a homozygous deletion of exon 7 within the SMN1 gene.  DSHS must increase the fee to cover the additional cost of providing SMA screening and follow-up services.  

Q: How do I choose the correct kit?

A: Use the Insurance/Self-Pay Test Kit (form #NBS4) for newborns who are covered under a private insurance plan or will pay out of pocket.     

     Use the Medicaid/CHIP/Charity Test Kit (form #NBS3) ONLY for Medicaid eligible newborns, newborns covered by CHIP, or newborns that have no other payment option as required in Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Section 37.55.   

Q: Who pays for the insurance/self-pay kits?

A: DSHS will bill the person or facility that orders insurance/self-pay test kits.  

Q: What steps do providers take for reimbursement of the newborn screening test kit cost?

A:

  1. Contact each health plan or insurance company to update your facility contracts.
  2. Verify that Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code S3620 is updated to match the current cost for the screening kit.
  3. Submit newborn screening claims using HCPCS code S3620.

    

Questions? 

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted July 21 , 2021



Changes to 2021 Newborn Screening

Specimen Collection Kits

 

A new lot of newborn screening specimen collection kits with serial number starting 21 (21-XXXXXXX) will be shipped out soon.  The following are changes from previous kits. 

NBS Kit notice 2021 Final

Please ensure all information is complete, accurate, to the best of your knowledge, and legible prior to shipping specimens to DSHS. Incorrect, missing, misplaced, or invalid information can cause specimen rejection, delays in testing, and incorrect test results and reports. 

Are older versions of the collection kit still acceptable? 

Yes, all cards are still acceptable until the expiration date printed on the card. 

Questions?  

Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333 

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov 

Posted July 15, 2021


July 2021 Newborn Screening Card Orders


Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory is continuing to have unforeseen manufacturing issues and shipping delays in the arrival of the new stock of newborn screening cards. The existing stock of newborn screening cards is being used to fulfill orders. To ensure adequate supply for all providers until the new cards are ready to ship, please see the following information:

  • Through July 31, newborn screening card requests of more than 500 will be reduced to a maximum of 500 to be filled and sent.
  • All requests will be reviewed and adjusted, based on previously filled requests, for a one-month quantity. Adjusted requests will not be backfilled; therefore, a new request will need to be submitted.
  • If your facility becomes critically low on cards, please contact DSHS at 512-776-7661.
  • Any account currently on hold will not be filled until the account has been cleared. If you have questions or need to make payment, please contact LabAR@dshs.texas.gov via email as they are not onsite for phone coverage.

 

Order Information

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7661 or 512-776-7661

ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

 

Questions

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted July 09, 2021



Update-Newborn Screening (NBS) for X-ALD


Issues with testing instrumentation have been resolved and DSHS has resumed X-ALD testing for all specimens. 

  • Some specimens with delayed testing for X-ALD were sent to an outside laboratory for completion of testing and were reported as “Test Pending” for X-ALD, with a result reporting note stating, “Final report with results for this disorder to follow”.
  • Once testing at the outside laboratory is complete, DSHS will send revised results with final X-ALD screening results.
  • All final results for specimens sent to the outside laboratory are expected to be reported by DSHS no later than Monday July 12, 2021.
  • For submitters receiving electronic results, revised results are expected to transmit as usual for all affected specimens.
  • For submitters who receive reports by mail or by fax, revised reports with final results are expected to be sent the same way.
  • Submitters who receive their results online will also get a copy by mail.
  • Regular screening for X-ALD has been reinstated.  

The DSHS Newborn Screening Program appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for Texas newborns.

   

Questions? 

Contact Newborn Screening Laboratory:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7333 or Locally: 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


Posted July 08, 2021


Newborn Screening Quality Improvement Hints
Spot Focus on Incomplete Saturation

In 2020, over 2,100 newborn screening specimens were rejected because the blood did not properly soak through the filter paper. All of these specimens required a recollection and caused critical delays to testing.

Why is a specimen with incomplete saturation rejected?

The filter paper is designed to hold a specific amount of blood. Incomplete saturation will have too little blood for proper testing. An insufficient amount of blood may cause test results to be inaccurate; therefore, these specimens will be unsatisfactory for testing.

Download Quality Improvement Hint Volume 1-2021 for:


-Examples of this type of rejection
-Tips on how to avoid this rejection
-Links to other resources about newborn screening specimen collection

Find all Spot Focus Quality Improvement Hints here.

Questions? 
1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333
NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov 

Posted July 06, 2021



NOTICE TO SUBMITTERS


The following Blood Collection Tubes will be expiring


Type of Tube: 500 µL Purple Top Capillary MAP Tube (K2EDTA)

Expiration Date
Lot Number
8/31/2021
0045093
9/30/2021
0073300
10/31/2021
0105820

 

Type of Tube: 2 mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

Expiration Date
Lot Number
11/30/2021
0227194
12/31/2021
0258306
1/31/2022
0289396
 

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your blood collection tube stock and rotate your supply
  • Discard expired tubes
  • Use blood collection tubes with the earliest expiration dates  
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted July 01, 2021


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 0037665

Expiration Date: 6/30/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

 What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tube
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted June 01, 2021







Changes to 2021 Newborn Screening

Specimen Collection Kits

 

A new lot of newborn screening specimen collection kits with serial number starting 21 (21-XXXXXXX) will be shipped out starting in July 2021. The following are changes from previous kits.

What has changed?  

  • The Newborn Information section on the Demographic Page:
    • Added Gestational Age.
      • Enter the number of completed gestational weeks and days at the time of birth.  If number of days is not available, use completed gestational weeks.
    • Added NPO (nil per os) as a new choice in the Feed section.
      • Choose NPO when no food or liquid is given by mouth.
    • Added Meconium Ileus
      • Meconium Ileus is blockage of the small intestine caused by excessively thick intestinal contents.
      • Choose yes if present or no if not present.  
  • Extended expiration date:
    • The new collection kits are valid for 5 years from the date of manufacturingcorrect storage is crucial.

Please ensure all information is complete, accurate, and legible prior to shipping specimens to DSHS. Incorrect, missing, misplaced, or invalid information can cause specimen rejection, delays in testing, and incorrect test results and reports.

FAQ

Are older versions of the collection kit still acceptable?

Yes, all cards are still acceptable until the expiration date printed on the card.

How do the changes affect HL7 order entry?

No changes are currently requested to inbound HL7 order messages. DSHS will coordinate directly with HL7 partners when any changes are proposed.

How do the changes affect DSHS NBS Web Application order entry?

No changes are currently requested for web entry. Providers are asked to continue entering information currently requested into the application. Future improvements to this application will allow entry of the new fields and options.

Questions?

Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted July 01, 2021



ATTENTION NEWBORN SCREENING SUBMITTERS

DSHS BEGAN SMA TESTING JUNE 1, 2021

 

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) added screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to the Texas Newborn Screening Panel effective June 1, 2021.

What is SMA?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an inherited condition that affects the cells in the spinal cord that signal the muscles to work.  Over time, the muscles get weaker and activities such as crawling, walking, sitting up, and controlling head movements become more difficult. Severe cases of SMA affect the muscles used for breathing and swallowing and can lead to early death.

Will samples received before June 1, 2021 be tested for SMA?

No, samples will not be screened retrospectively.  

Will there be a fee increase?

Yes, an increase is expected and planned for January 2022. DSHS will notify stakeholders of the amount at least 90 days prior to the change.

Will more blood be needed to complete this test?

No additional blood is needed. Continue to collect 5 completely saturated or filled blood spots.

How common is SMA?

About 1 in 8,000 to 1 in 10,000 babies are affected by SMA.

Will the newborn screen detect all babies with SMA?

The test will identify SMA that is caused by a homozygous deletion of exon 7 in the SMN1 gene.  This accounts for about 95% of all SMA cases. 

Is there any treatment for SMA?

Although there is currently no cure for SMA, there are multiple FDA approved treatments available and effective if diagnosed early. 

What conditions are included on Texas Newborn Screening Panel?

The Texas panel includes 54 laboratory and two point-of-care screens.  A list of the conditions on the Texas Newborn Screening Panel can be found here (pdf).

Currently, the Texas Newborn Screening Laboratory screens for 30 core conditions and reports an additional 24 secondary conditions.  With the addition of SMA, Texas will screen for 31 core conditions. 

Where can I find more information on SMA?

Watch for continued updates, including list serve announcements, throughout the implementation process.  Find more information on SMA at Baby’s First Test and CureSMA.  

For questions or comments:

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted June 01, 2021


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 0037665

Expiration Date: 6/30/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

 What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tube
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted June 01, 2021


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 2mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

Lot #: 0072479, 0072481

Expiration Date: 6/30/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted June 01, 2021


Newborn Screening SMA Testing and Result Reporting Statements Effective June 1, 2021

The Texas DSHS Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory will be adding Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to the Newborn Screening Panel. Thirteen new result reporting statements will be added as well as one new Unsatisfactory reporting statement to reflect the addition of SMA screening. These updates are scheduled to go into effect June 1, 2021. A full list of all test results can be found here: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/nbs/results/

Updated result report examples are available here:

Reminder: Read screening result notes fully before taking action.

Previous notification, “Newborn Screening Result Report and Result Reporting Statements for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)” sent April 2021, can be found here.

Questions / Comments

Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

Posted May 27, 2021 


ATTENTION  BACTERIOLOGICAL WATER CUSTOMERS

Public Water Systems and Private

Effective June 1, 2021

Starting on June 1, 2021, the Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory will return to their normal operating hours for accepting bacteriological water samples. 

Water samples accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm (Except Federal Holidays).

For questions or comments: Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7598 or for local calls 512-776-7598

Posted May 26, 2021 



IMPORTANT NOTICE

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Scheduled Go Live Date

 


The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be adding screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to the Texas Newborn Screening Panel June 1, 2021.


What is SMA?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an inherited condition that affects the cells in the spinal cord that signal the muscles to work.  Over time, the muscles get weaker and activities such as crawling, walking, sitting up, and controlling head movements become more difficult. Severe cases of SMA affect the muscles used for breathing and swallowing and can lead to early death.

When will SMA be added to the Texas NBS Panel?

This addition is anticipated to begin June 1, 2021.

Will there be a fee increase?

Yes, an increase is expected and planned for January 2022. DSHS will notify stakeholders of the amount at least 90 days prior to the change.

Will more blood be needed to complete this test?

No additional blood is needed. Continue to collect 5 completely saturated or filled blood spots.

How common is SMA?

About 1 in 8,000 to 1 in 10,000 babies are affected by SMA.

Will the newborn screen detect all babies with SMA?

The test will identify SMA that is caused by a homozygous deletion of exon 7 in the SMN1 gene.  This accounts for about 95% of all SMA cases.

Is there any treatment for SMA?

Although there is currently no cure for SMA, there are multiple FDA approved treatments available and effective if diagnosed early.

What conditions are included on Texas Newborn Screening Panel?

The Texas panel includes 54 laboratory and two point-of-care screens.  A list of the conditions on the Texas Newborn Screening Panel can be found here (pdf).

Currently, the Texas Newborn Screening Laboratory screens for 30 core conditions and reports an additional 24 secondary conditions.  With the addition of SMA, Texas will screen for 31 core conditions.

Where can I find more information on SMA?

Watch for continued updates, including email notices, throughout the implementation process.  Find more information on SMA at Baby’s First Test and CureSMA.  

 

For questions or comments:

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted May 26, 2021 


Tips for Shipping Whole Blood Specimens

As the temperature begins to increase, the Department of State Health Services Laboratory reminds all submitters that mail whole blood specimens through the US Postal Service of the following tips:

  • Drop off specimens inside the Post Office.
  • Avoid leaving specimens in locations that are subject to high temperatures (i.e., metal lockboxes or mailboxes).
  • Consider shipping specimens overnight with enough cold packs using a courier service.
  • Do not freeze whole blood specimens

For questions regarding this notice, please email ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov.

Posted May 03, 2021


Tips for Shipping Serum Specimens

As the temperatures begin to rise, the Department of State Health Services Laboratory reminds all submitters that ship serum specimens through courier service overnight of the following tips:

  • Serum samples for dyslipidemia and diabetes may be frozen and shipped overnight via courier
  • Do NOT freeze serum separator tubes (SST) with serum samples.
    • Serum must be separated and placed into a transport tube before freezing.
    • Place enough cold packs/dry ice to ensure samples remain cold/frozen throughout shipment.
  • Do not ship serum specimens on Fridays or the day before federal holidays.

For questions regarding this notice, please email ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov.

Posted May 03, 2021



May and June 2021 Newborn Screening Card Orders


Due to unforeseen manufacturing issues, there will be a delay in the arrival of the new stock of newborn screening cards. Currently, existing stock of newborn screening cards is being used to fulfill orders.  To ensure adequate supply for all providers, please see the following information:

  • Starting May 1 through July 2, newborn screening card requests of more than 500 will be reduced to a maximum of 500 to be filled and sent.
  • All requests will be reviewed and adjusted, based on previously filled requests, for a one-month quantity. Adjusted requests will not be backfilled; therefore, a new request will need to be submitted.
  • If your facility becomes critically low on cards, please contact DSHS at 512-776-7661.
  • Any account currently on hold will not be filled until the account has been cleared. If you have questions or need to make payment, please contact LabAR@dshs.texas.gov via email as they are not onsite for phone coverage.

 

Order Information

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7661 or 512-776-7661

ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

Questions

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


Posted April 29, 2021 


Newborn Screening Result Report and Result Reporting Statements for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

The Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory plans to begin testing for SMA due to homozygous deletion of exon 7 in SMN1 in Summer of 2021.

SMA Results will display in an additional row on the disorder table:

 SMA Results

Result Reporting Statements for SMA include:

Overall

Specimen Result

Screening Result

Screening Result Note

Normal

Normal

n/a

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected.  Zero copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 24 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected.  One copy of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 24 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected.  Two copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 24 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected.  Three copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 24 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected. Four copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 72 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected. Four or more copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 72 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected. Five or more copies of SMN2 detected. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number within 24 hours and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 7 days.

Abnormal

Abnormal

Probable Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Deletion of SMN1 exon 7 detected.  SMN2 copy number cannot be determined. Recommend rapid molecular confirmation including SMN1 and SMN2 copy number and telephone consultation and referral to a neurologist or neurogeneticist within 24 hours.

Abnormal

Abnormal

free text

Normal

Revised Result

free text

Abnormal

Revised Result

free text

Unsatisfactory

Revised Result

free text

Unsatisfactory

Unsatisfactory

Unsatisfactory: Unable to evaluate for detection of SMN1 gene. Resubmit within 7 days.


Questions? Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted April 26, 2021 


IMPORTANT NOTICE

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to be Added to the

Texas Newborn Screening Panel


The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be adding screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to the Texas Newborn Screening Panel in Summer 2021.

What is SMA?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an inherited condition that affects the cells in the spinal cord that signal the muscles to work.  Over time, the muscles get weaker and activities such as crawling, walking, sitting up, and controlling head movements become more difficult. Severe cases of SMA affect the muscles used for breathing and swallowing and can lead to early death.

When will SMA be added to the Texas NBS Panel?

This addition is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2021.

Will there be a fee increase?

Yes, an increase is expected and planned for January 2022. DSHS will notify stakeholders of the amount at least 90 days prior to the change.

Will more blood be needed to complete this test?

No additional blood is needed. Continue to collect 5 completely saturated or filled blood spots.

How common is SMA?

About 1 in 8,000 to 1 in 10,000 babies are affected by SMA.

Will the newborn screen detect all babies with SMA?

The test will identify SMA that is caused by a homozygous deletion of exon 7 in the SMN1 gene.  This accounts for about 95% of all SMA cases.

Is there any treatment for SMA?

Although there is currently no cure for SMA, there are multiple FDA approved treatments available and effective if diagnosed early. 

What conditions are included on Texas Newborn Screening Panel?

The Texas panel includes 54 laboratory and two point-of-care screens.  A list of the conditions on the Texas Newborn Screening Panel can be found here (pdf).

Currently, the Texas Newborn Screening Laboratory screens for 30 core conditions and reports an additional 24 secondary conditions.  With the addition of SMA, Texas will screen for 31 core conditions. 

Where can I find more information on SMA?

Watch for continued updates, including list serve announcements, throughout the implementation process.  Find more information on SMA at Baby’s First Test and CureSMA.  

For questions or comments:

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted April 22, 2021 


Attention Newborn Screening Submitters

Hemoglobin G Reporting Resumes April 5, 2021

 

DSHS Newborn Screening Laboratory will resume reporting “Hemoglobin G.” Effective 04/05/2021, specimens showing possible Hemoglobin G during testing will be identified and reported on the newborn screening result report.

Questions / Comments

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333  OR  512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS BRANCH * LABORATORY SERVICES SECTION * PO BOX 149347 * AUSTIN, TX 78714-3194

Posted April 05, 2021 


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 5 mL Gold Top SST Serum Separation Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 0113145

Expiration Date: 04/30/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

       What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672
 

       For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted April 02, 2021 


Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice

Change in test procedure for Candida colonization testing

Effective April 1, 2021, the Austin DSHS Laboratory will change the testing method for Candida colonization testing from culture to real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).  Specimen submission criteria for Candida colonization testing remains the same.  Reporting time for Candida colonization tests by RT-PCR will be reduced to two to three business days.

For more information regarding Candida specimen submission, please visit our webpage: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/ARLN/Antibiotic-Resistance-Testing-TX/

 

DSHS Microbiological Sciences Branch:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7599 or Locally: 512-776-7599

Email: Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov

Posted March 31, 2021 


Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory - Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, Austin TX

 

Please complete the following survey. Your responses are very important as they help us improve our services.

The survey will take approximately 5 - 10 minutes to complete.  Please click here to begin the survey. 

Please complete the survey by April 15, 2021.

If you have questions, contact the DSHS Laboratory at 512-776-7578. 

Posted March 15, 2021 


Candida auris is now a Notifiable Condition in Texas

 

Candida auris (C. auris) was added to the Texas Administrative Code as a notifiable condition on January 5, 2021. Per the Texas Administrative Code, C. auris isolates are now required to be submitted to the Texas DSHS Laboratory in Austin.

  • C. auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen that can cause invasive disease with high mortality and has been transmitted in healthcare settings. Identifying persons colonized with C. auris is a key step in containing the spread.
  • To aid in our surveillance of this deadly agent, please ship all C. auris isolates and any Candida isolates that your laboratory cannot identify to the Texas DSHS laboratory.
  • Specific shipping instructions for C. auris isolates can be found on the following DSHS webpage: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/ARLN/ShippingCANDIDAISOLATES.shtm

Please visit the Texas ARLN website for more information

Questions? 

Contact DSHS Microbiology Laboratory:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7599

Email: TexasARLN@dshs.texas.gov

Posted March 03, 2021


DSHS Austin Laboratory Notice

2021 Winter Storm Delays and Resumption of Laboratory Testing

The recent winter storms led to delays in transit of samples to the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory as well as laboratory closure and interruptions to testing services.

  • All normal operations resumed at the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory starting Saturday, February 20, 2021.
  • DSHS courier pickups and deliveries have resumed.
  • Samples received before or during the laboratory closure may not be reported within the expected turnaround time.
  • The laboratory received a higher than usual number of specimens that arrived too late to be tested or did not meet required storage conditions upon arrival.
  • The laboratory will continue at maximum capacity to resolve any specimen backlog.
  • Notices for Newborn Screening specific information were sent out earlier to providers. (See previous notices here: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/correspondencebulletins.shtm

The DSHS Austin Laboratory appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to keep Texans healthy.


Contact DSHS Laboratory:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7318 or Locally: 512-776-7318

Email: labinfo@dshs.texas.gov

Posted March 02, 2021


2021 Winter Storm – Results from Samples Sent to Reference Lab

In response to the winter storm, the Department of State Health Services Newborn Screening Laboratory sent approximately 1,200 specimens to a reference laboratory to ensure timeliness of testing and reporting. 

  • All reference laboratory testing has been completed. DSHS Clinical Care Coordination will follow up on any out of range results.
  • Submitters will still receive result reports from DSHS, but reports will deviate from the usual DSHS format.
  • A cover page will be included in all reports with the newborn demographics and submitter information. 
  • The reference laboratory report will be attached to the cover page and will be at least 2 pages.
  • Results for all specimens will be available through the Texas Newborn Screening Web Application (Neometrics).
  • Submitters who receive results via mail, fax, or web application will receive results in the usual manner.
  • Submitters normally receiving results via HL7 will only receive reports via mail. No electronic results will be sent for affected specimens.
  • Submitters do not need to contact the reference laboratory for results.

The DSHS Newborn Screening Program appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for Texas newborns. 


Questions?

Contact Newborn Screening Laboratory:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7333 or Locally: 512-776-7333

Email:  NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted February 25, 2021


Newborn Screening Update -  Specimens Received Too Old To Test

 

  • Due to delays in transit from the recent winter storm, DSHS has received a high number of specimens that are too old to test and report results based on regulatory requirements.
  • All specimens received 14 days or more since collection will be tested but will be reported on the newborn screening result report as “Unsatisfactory – Specimen Too Old Upon Receipt”.
  • All specimens reported as “Too Old Upon Receipt” MUST be recollected.
  • If there are results requiring immediate follow-up, DSHS Clinical Care Coordination will notify provider.
  • DSHS will issue a credit to providers who submitted specimens collected on NBS4 Test Kit Form (Insurance/self-Pay) that were reported as “Too Old Upon Receipt” due to storm related delays in shipping and receiving.
  • The credit will be issued based on DSHS records. No action will be needed by submitters.

Questions? 

Contact Newborn Screening Laboratory:

Phone: 1 (888) 963-7111 ext. 7333 or Locally: 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


After Hours Answering Service: 1-888-963-7111

Contact Clinical Care Coordination:

Email: Newborn@dshs.texas.gov

Posted February 24, 2021


DSHS Laboratory – Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice

The DSHS Austin Laboratory has implemented the use of whole genome sequencing for the identification and serotyping of Escherichia coli (E. coli) from clinical isolates and specimens. Organism ID and serotype information will be included in the reports for isolates and specimens received at the DSHS Austin Laboratory on or after February 4, 2021 for the following categories:

  • Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC)  
  • Other E. coli that have been selected and sequenced for surveillance purposes 

This additional information cannot be provided for samples submitted before February 4, 2021.  

There will be no changes to the specimen submission or reporting process.

Please contact the DSHS Microbiology laboratory with any questions you have at Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov.

Posted Jan 13, 2021


UPDATE 2021 Winter Storm and Newborn Screening-TESTING RESUMED

 

Know:

  • The Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory resumed normal operations starting Saturday, February 20.
  • DSHS courier pickups and deliveries have resumed.
  • NBS Program operations will continue at maximum capacity to resolve specimen backlogs.
  • DSHS shipped a limited number of specimens to a reference laboratory to improve timeliness of testing.
  • DSHS Clinical Care Coordination will provide follow-up outreach services as soon as results are available for samples tested in the TX NBS Laboratory and the reference laboratory.

Providers should continue to:

  • If a child is showing signs or symptoms of a possible critical newborn screening condition,
    • Note that NBS results may not be available.
    • Initiate diagnostic work-up or treatment as needed.
    • Contact NBS Clinical Care Coordination immediately for assistance with follow-up recommendations and contact information for clinical referral specialists in your area.
  • Expedite follow-up activities on out-of-range results as much as possible.
    • Ensure that newborn screening results are known, documented, and discussed with the family/caregiver.
    • Facilitate repeat or confirmatory testing, appropriate subspecialty referral and timely intervention if necessary.
  • Collect and dry newborn screens within the appropriate timeframes.
    • 1st newborn screen - between 24 - 48 hours of age or before hospital discharge.
    • 2nd newborn screen - 1-2 weeks of age.
  • Ship specimens through normal delivery method as soon as possible.

The DSHS Newborn Screening Program appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for Texas newborns. 

Questions?

Newborn Screening Laboratory - Monday to Friday 8:00am-5:00pm:

512-776-7333  

Newborn Screening Laboratory Emergency Contact:                After Hours Answering Service:

512-689-9996                                                                                   1-888-963-7111

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


Clinical Care Coordination Emergency Contact:

512-939-1216

Newborn@dshs.texas.gov

Posted February 20, 2020


2021 Winter Storm and Newborn Screening

 

Know:

  • The Texas Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory has been unable to resume operations since Saturday, February 13.
  • DSHS courier pickups and testing will resume as soon as possible.
  • DSHS may ship specimens to a reference laboratory to improve timeliness of testing.
  • Result reporting including out-of-range results will be delayed but completed ASAP.
  • DSHS Clinical Care Coordination will provide follow-up outreach services as soon as results are available.

Providers should continue to:

  • If a child is showing signs or symptoms of a possible critical newborn screening condition,
    • Note that NBS results may not be available.
    • Initiate diagnostic work-up or treatment as needed.
    • Contact NBS Clinical Care Coordination immediately for assistance with follow-up recommendations and contact information for clinical referral specialists in your area.
  • Expedite follow-up activities on out-of-range results as much as possible.
    • Ensure that newborn screening results are known, documented, and discussed with the family/caregiver.
    • Facilitate repeat or confirmatory testing, appropriate subspecialty referral and timely intervention if necessary.
  • Collect and dry newborn screens within the appropriate timeframes.
    • 1st newborn screen - between 24 - 48 hours of age, or before hospital discharge.
    • 2nd newborn screen - 1-2 weeks of age.
  • Ship specimens through normal delivery method as soon as possible.
    • Contact courier directly for service information for your area.
    • Where courier services are delayed, store the specimens at room temperature in a dry location.
    • Do not put specimens in air-tight sealed containers.

While navigating winter storm challenges, the DSHS Newborn Screening Program appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for Texas newborns. 

Questions? 

Newborn Screening Laboratory Emergency Contact:                After Hours Answering Service:

512-689-9996                                                                                               1-888-963-7111

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov


Clinical Care Coordination Emergency Contact:

512-939-1216

Newborn@dshs.texas.gov

Posted February 17, 2020


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 5 mL Gold Top SST Serum Separation Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 0049781

Expiration Date: 02/28/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted January 29, 2021


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 9242468

Expiration Date: 1/31/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted January 15, 2021 


DSHS Laboratory – Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice

The following microbiological testing areas that were affected by the DSHS Laboratory

COVID-19 response efforts have now resumed regular operations:

Fungal isolate identification

Parasitology identification

Influenza surveillance testing

Mosquito surveillance testing

Gonorrhea/Chlamydia/Hepatitis C specimen testing

Foodborne outbreak investigations (Listeria, SalmonellaEscherichia coli., etc.)

We do not expect any further delays in testing or laboratory results reporting due to the ongoing DSHS COVID-19 response efforts. A notification will be issued if any new delays are expected.  

Please contact the DSHS Microbiology laboratory with any questions at

Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov.

Posted January 05, 2021


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 9242468

Expiration Date: 1/31/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will

be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext.

6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted January 04, 2021 


Effective January 1, 2021:  Fee Schedule Changes for Austin and South Texas Laboratories

Effective January 1, 2021, the DSHS Austin and South Texas Laboratory Fee Schedules have been updated to reflect test additions, deletions, and fee changes. To view the revised fee schedules, visit the DSHS Laboratory’s website

Posted January 01, 2021 


2021 IS HERE!

Wrong dates will delay Newborn Screening (NBS) specimen testing or cause

specimen REJECTION.

How to help avoid NBS testing delays and specimen rejection:

  • Ensure dates (including year) are complete and accurate.
  • Assign staff to double check that all specimen information is:
    • Complete
    • Accurate
    • Legible
  • Respond to DSHS staff requests for clarifying information.

Example of correct date and time format:

NBS 2021 Update

Questions?

Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or locally 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us      

Posted December 31, 2020 


DSHS Laboratory – Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice

Starting January 1, 2021, the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory will no longer be providing 

the following testing services:

•      Rubella Virus, IgM

•      Ehrlichia IFA

•      Q-Fever, IgG

If specimens for the above assays are received at the DSHS Austin Laboratory on or

after January 1, 2021, laboratory staff will contact the submitter to decide how the

laboratory may proceed with the specimens from the options below:

1.    Option 1 ─ Ship the specimens back to the submitter; no shipping charges; the

submitter may choose this option if they wish to submit the specimens to a

commercial laboratory that provides testing with an expected turnaround time of 5-6 days.


2.    Option 2 ─ Cancel the test and appropriately discard the specimens.

3.    Option 3 ─ Forward the specimens to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention) for testing; no shipping charges; testing at the CDC has a projected 

turnaround time of 10 days for Rubella IgM and 6 weeks for Ehrlichia IgG and Q-Fever IgG.


Please contact the DSHS Microbiology laboratory with any questions at

Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov.

Posted December 29, 2020 


Laboratory Christmas and New Year Holiday Closure Reminders


Newborn Screening Laboratory

Christmas Holiday Closed Date:  12/25/2020

  • The Newborn Screening Lab will be closed on Christmas Day and will resume testing on Saturday, 12/26/2020.

New Year’s Holiday Closed Date:  1/1/2021

  • The Newborn Screening Lab will be closed on New Year’s Day and will resume testing on Saturday, 1/2/2021.

Reminders:

  • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
  • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as soon as possible.

Clinical Chemistry Laboratory

Christmas Holiday Closed Dates:  12/24/2020 – 12/25/2020

  • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid, cholesterol, and creatinine specimens must be received by Wednesday, 12/23/2020 to complete testing prior to the Christmas holiday.
  • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid panel, glucose, or creatinine specimens between the dates of 12/23/2020 - 12/27/2020.

New Year’s Holiday Closed Date:  1/1/2021

  • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid, cholesterol, and creatinine specimens must be received by Thursday, 12/31/2020 to complete testing prior to the New Year’s holiday.
  • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid panel, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Thursday, 12/31/2020.

Reminders:

  • Specimens submitted for lead and total hemoglobin testing must be received within 14 days of collection.
  • Specimens submitted for glucose, lipid, cholesterol, and creatinine testing must be received according to specimen submission guidelines available at

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/MRS_labtests_toc.shtm


Microbiology Testing Notices

 

Christmas Holiday Closed Dates:  12/24/2020 – 12/25/2020

New Year’s Holiday Closed Date:  1/1/2021

   

Rabies Laboratory:

    Note: Ship specimens for Rabies testing via Greyhound Bus. 

  • Specimens for Rabies testing received before 8:00 AM on Wednesday, 12/23/2020 will be tested on Wednesday, 12/23/2020.
    • Results will be available before 5:00 PM. 
  • Specimens received between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Wednesday, 12/23/2020 will be tested on Thursday, 12/24/2020 and preliminary results will be available by noon if requested.
  • All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 12/28/2020.
  • Specimens for Rabies testing received before 8:00 AM on Thursday, 12/31/2020 will be tested on Thursday, 12/31/2020.
    • Results will be available before 5:00 PM.
  • Specimens received between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Thursday, 12/31/2020 will be tested on Friday, 01/01/2021, and preliminary results will be available by noon if requested.
  • All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 01/04/2021.
  • Emergency testing is available on 12/24/2020, 12/26/2020, 01/01/2021 and 01/02/2021. Contact lab personnel to arrange emergency testing (512-776-7595). Specimen receipt must be guaranteed by 8:00 AM the day of testing. 

Viral Isolation Laboratory: 

  • DO NOT ship specimens between Wednesday, 12/23/2020 through Sunday, 12/27/2020. 
    • Store collected specimens at -70°C or below. Note: Upon approval, priority COVID-19 specimens can be tested. Pre-arrangement of testing is required.
    • Ship specimens on dry ice for delivery on 12/29/2020.
  • DO NOT ship specimens on Thursday, 12/31/2020 through Sunday, 1/3/2021.
    • Store collected specimens at -70°C or below. Note: Upon approval, priority COVID-19 specimens can be tested. Pre-arrangement of testing is required.
    • Ship specimens on dry ice for delivery on Tuesday, 1/5/2021.

Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory:

Note: Contact lab personnel for expedited test requests (512-776-7342).

  • To receive expedited AFB Smear and NAA for M. tuberculosis test results before the Christmas holiday:
    • Ensure specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:00 AM on Wednesday, 12/23/2020.
  • DO NOT ship specimens on Wednesday, 12/23/2020 through Friday, 12/25/2020.
    • Store collected specimens in the refrigerator, and ship for delivery on Monday, 12/28/2020. 
  • DO NOT ship specimens to be delivered on Thursday, 12/31/2020 or Friday, 1/1/2021. 
    • Store collected specimens in refrigerator and ship for delivery on Monday, 1/4/2021.

Bacteriology Laboratory (Human Samples)

  • Bacteriology samples will not be accepted or tested on following dates:
    • 12/24/2020 – 12/27/2020
    • 1/1/2021 – 1/3/2021

AMD/WGS Samples

  • Whole genome sequencing samples will not be accepted or tested on following dates:
    • 12/24/2020 – 12/27/2020
    • 1/1/2021 – 1/3/2021

Serology Laboratory

  • DO NOT ship specimens to be delivered on Wednesday, 12/23/2020 through Friday, 12/25/2020. 
  • DO NOT ship specimens to be delivered on Thursday, 12/31/2020 or Friday, 1/1/2021.  

Bacteriology Water Samples

  • Water samples will NOT be accepted on the following dates:
    • 12/23/2020 – 12/27/2020
    • 12/31/2020
    • 1/1/2021 – 1/3/2021 

Newborn Screening Medicaid/Paid Card Order Requests

  • Priority overnight shipping requests received on 12/22/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight.
  • Priority overnight shipping requests received on 12/29/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight.
  • All requests received before noon on 12/23/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Ground.
  • All requests received before noon on 12/30/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Ground.
  • Requests received after noon on 12/23/2020 through 12/27/2020 will be sent Monday, 12/28/2020.
  • Requests received after noon on 12/30/2020 through 1/3/2021 will be sent Monday, 1/4/2021. 

Texas Health Steps/PKU/TB/HIV/Courier Supply Order Requests

  • All requests received on 12/22/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground.
  • Requests received prior to 9:00 AM on 12/23/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground for pick up Wednesday afternoon.
  • Requests received after 9:00 AM on 12/23/2020 through 12/27/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped on Monday 12/28/2020 via FedEx Ground.
  • All requests received on 12/30/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground.
  • Requests received prior to 9:00 AM on 12/31/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground for pick up Thursday afternoon.
  • Requests received after 9:00 AM on 12/31/2020 through 1/3/2021 will be audited, issued and shipped on Monday 1/4/2021 via FedEx Ground.

***Per FedEx website FedEx Ground will be closed 12/25/2020 through 12/27/2020. & 1/1/2021 through 1/3/2021***

***Per FedEx website FedEx Express will have limited deliveries per area 12/24/2020 & 12/31/2020***

Questions? Contact the Texas DSHS Laboratory:

Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or for local calls 512-776-7318

Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov 

NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Or: ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

Or: Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov

Or: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.state.tx.us

Posted December 16, 2020 


DSHS Newborn Screening Improvements to Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism Testing Methodology

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory—in collaboration with the CDC, Texas endocrinology consultants, and national experts—is conducting an improvement project to optimize screening for Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH).

On December 7, 2020, the DSHS NBS Laboratory implemented initial changes to the CH testing methodology to support project activities. These modifications include:

  • Screening for Thyroxine (T4) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) for all newborn screening specimens.
  • Improved instrumentation with automated and continuous flow throughput.
  • Faster identification of newborns with critically high TSH levels.
  • No changes for result reporting statements, HL7 reporting or recommended follow-up activities.
  • A slight increase in the quantity of presumptive positive test results during the initial 6-9 months of the project.

What are the long-term goals of the project?

  • Determine the optimal screening algorithm for identification of CH and reduce the false positive rate and age at diagnosis.
  • Reduce the time to provider notification for critically high TSH levels.
  • Improve outcomes and reduce costs to the overall healthcare system.

How can I help to ensure the success of the project?

  • Provide CH diagnosis to the TX NBS Program as soon as available.
  • Notify the TX NBS Program of any Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism cases missed by newborn screening.

Will there be a fee increase?

No. Project activities are funded with the generous support of the CDC.

Will more blood be needed to complete this test?

No. Continue to collect 5 fully saturated blood spots.

Where can I find more information on Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism?

Find more information at Baby’s First Test.

For questions or comments:

1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

Posted December 16, 2020 


Clinical Chemistry Submitters

The New Year of 2021 will be here soon!


Dates must be recorded accurately (including year). 

Be mindful of the year change. Invalid dates (months, days or years) will cause unnecessary delays in testing or a specimen to be REJECTED.

Suggestions:

  • Print and display this notice for all staff collecting specimens to serve as a reminder.
  • Assign individual(s) to double check specimens before shipment, to ensure that all specimen forms are:
    • Complete
    • Accurate
    • Legible

The DSHS Laboratory cannot make corrections to any dates on a specimen without confirmation from the healthcare provider.

To avoid testing delays or specimen rejections, please respond promptly to any DSHS fax and telephone requests for information or clarification.

For questions contact the Texas DSHS Clinical Chemistry Laboratory:

Toll free:  1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236

Local calls:  512-776-6236

Email: ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov


For previous notices, visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted Dec 15, 2020


DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Closure Reminder:


South Texas Laboratory will be closed:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Friday, December 25, 2020

AND

Friday, January 1, 2021

 

TB Elimination submitters: Please do not ship specimens on Wednesday,

12/23 and Thursday, 12/31.

 

The Serology department is not accepting specimens on Wednesday,

12/23 and Thursday, 12/31. 


RGSC OPC, Cameron County, and Hidalgo County submitters:

PLEASE DELIVER CLINICAL SPECIMENS BY 12:00 on Wednesday, 12/23 AND on Thursday, 12/31 to ensure testing is complete.

   

THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2020

AND MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021

     

PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

                                                               
  • 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
  • 956-364-8750 (Serology)
  • 956-364-8753 (TB)
  • 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness) 
 

THANK YOU

Posted Dec 11, 2020


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 2mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

Lot #: 9260543

Expiration Date: 12/31/2020

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • Order new supplies
    • Fax order to (512) 776-7672  

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext.  6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted Dec 09, 2020


NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

Lot #: 9242468

Expiration Date: 1/31/2021

Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

What to do next:

  • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
  • To order new supplies, fax order to (512) 776-7672

For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

Posted Dec 07, 2020


Attention 

Holiday Notice

Bacteriological Water Samples will not be accepted at DSHS Laboratory on the following dates: 

  • December 23 - December 27, 2020 
  • December 31, 2020 
  • January 1 - January 3, 2021

Reminder: Due to ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, bacteriology water samples are accepted Monday - Thursday 8am - 2pm  (Except Federal Holidays).

Posted Nov 03, 2020


Notice regarding a Funding Opportunity for Newborn Screening Submitters

 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section announces an Open Enrollment funding opportunity for newborn screening submitters.  The Open Enrollment is posted, for a limited amount of time, at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/pcs/openenrollment.cfm.

 

DSHS is seeking Applications to establish Contract(s) and provide funding for Texas newborn screening healthcare providers to develop and implement new HL7 interfaces to electronically order newborn screening on blood spot specimens and to electronically receive the newborn screening results from the DSHS Laboratory.

 

These interface solutions will improve patient care by reducing the amount of time required for a physician to receive time critical newborn screening results, enhancing the quality of data used to support newborn screening testing, and eliminating testing delays due to missing data and manually intensive data entry processes.

 

Visit the link above for more information on this funding opportunity, required activities, eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding.  Early submissions are encouraged, as only a limited number of eligible applications can receive awards.

 

Please contact the DSHS contract manager with any questions at caeli.paradise@dshs.texas.gov.


Posted Nov 24, 2020


DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

Thanksgiving Holiday Closure:

Departments at South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed at the following hour on

Wednesday, November 25 and will be closed through Friday, November 27:

                                                                                     
  • Clinical (Chemistries, CBCs): NOON (Testing for TB Elimination clinical specimens received on Wednesday will be performed and reported, do not ship specimens on Wednesday, 11/26.)
  • TB Mycobacteriology: NOON
  • Emergency Preparedness (BT): NOON
  • Serology: NOON
                                                                 

THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

Monday, November 30, 2020   

PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

                                                                 
    • 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
    • 956-364-8750 (Serology)
    • 956-364-8753 (TB Mycobacteriology)
    • 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)
     

      To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

    http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm

      THANK YOU

    Posted Nov 16, 2020


    DSHS Austin Laboratory Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Reminders

    Newborn Screening (NBS)

    Healthcare Provider Reminders:

    • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
    • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as soon as possible.
    • The Newborn Screening Lab will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and will resume testing on Friday, 11/27/2020.

    Newborn Screening Medicaid/Paid Card Order Requests

    • Priority overnight shipping requests received on 11/24/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight.
    • All requests received before noon on 11/25/2020 will be processed and shipped via FedEx Ground.
    • Requests received after noon on 11/25/2020 through 11/29/2020 will be sent Monday, 11/30/2020.

     

    Clinical Chemistry

    Testing Notices:

    • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine specimens must be received by Wednesday, 11/25/2020 to complete testing before the holiday.
    • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid profile, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Fridays or on the day before a state-observed holiday.
    • The Clinical Chemistry Laboratory will be closed on 11/26/2020 and 11/27/2020.

     

    Healthcare Provider Reminders:

     

    Texas Health Steps/PKU/TB/HIV/Courier Supply Order Requests

    • All requests received on 11/24/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground.
    • Requests received before 9:00 a.m. on 11/25/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped via FedEx Ground for pick up Wednesday afternoon.
    • Requests received after 9:00 a.m. on 11/25/2020 through 11/29/2020 will be audited, issued and shipped on Monday 11/30/2020 via FedEx Ground.

     

    ***Per FedEx website, FedEx Ground will be closed 11/26/2020 but will deliver packages 11/27/2020.***

               

    Microbiology

    • Rabies:
      • Ship rabies specimens via Greyhound Bus. Specimens received after 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 11/25/2020 will be tested Friday, 11/27/2020.
      • Positive results will be called out before noon Friday, 11/27/2020. 
      • Emergency testing is available on Friday, 11/27/2020 and Saturday, 11/28/2020 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595). Specimen receipt must be guaranteed.
      • All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 11/30/2020 and reported before 5:00 p.m.
    • Viral Isolation Laboratory:
      • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/25/2020 – Sunday, 11/29/2020.  Store specimens collected during this time at -70°C or below. Note: Upon approval, priority COVID-19 specimens can be tested. Pre-arrangement of testing is required.  
      • Ship specimens on dry ice the week of 11/30/2020.
    • Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory (TB):
      • Ensure critical AFB Smear and NAA for M. tuberculosis specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 11/25/2020  
      • Call 512-776-7342 for expedited test requests before 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 11/25/2020.
      • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/25/2020 to Friday, 11/27/2020.  Keep specimens in refrigerated storage until shipment.
      • No specimens will be tested from Thursday, 11/26/2019 to Sunday, 11/29/2020.
    • Bacteriology Human Samples:
      • Bacteriology samples will not be accepted nor tested the following dates:
        • 11/26/2020 –  11/29/2020

    Bacteriology Water Samples

    • Bacteriology samples will not be accepted the following dates:
      • 11/25/2020 – 11/29/2020

         

    Questions?

    1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or locally 512-776-7318

    Main Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

    NBS Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

    Clinical Chemistry Email: ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

    Container Preparation: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

    Posted Nov 03, 2020



    NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES


    Type of Tube: 500 µL Purple Top Capillary MAP Tube (K2EDTA)

    Lot #: 9126684

    Expiration Date: 11/30/2020

    Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

    What to do next:

    • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
    • Order new supplies
      • Fax order to (512)776-7672  

     For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

    To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm 

    Posted Nov 03, 2020



    Attention

    Holiday Notice

    Bacteriological Water Samples will not be accepted at DSHS Laboratory on the following dates:

    • November 10 – November 11, 2020
    • November 25 – November 29, 2020

    Reminder:  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, bacteriology water samples are accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 2pm (Except Federal Holidays).

    Posted Oct 26, 2020


    DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

    Veterans’ Day Holiday Closure:

    Departments at South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

       

    TB Elimination submitters, keep in mind specimen stability times for specimens collected Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10. Specimens collected on Monday, 11/9 should be shipped the same day. Specimens collected on Tuesday, 11/10 risk temperature (due to ice packs thawing) and stability issues if shipped same day and not received by the laboratory until Thursday, 11/12.

    Chemistries are stable for 48 hours or longer if aliquots are frozen and shipped on cold packs. CBCs are stable for 48 hours (do not freeze CBCs).   

     

    Cameron and Hidalgo County submitters, please deliver specimens by 3:00 pm on Tuesday, November 10 to ensure testing is completed.

           

    THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

    Thursday, November 12.

         

    PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

    o 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
    o 956-364-8750 (Serology)
    o 956-364-8753 (TB)
    o 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)


          To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

          http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm

             

          THANK YOU

          Posted Oct 21, 2020


          The DSHS Austin Laboratory has implemented a new multiplex assay for Flu Surveillance specimens


          Starting October 05, 2020, the DSHS Austin Laboratory will be performing the CDC Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) Multiplex Assay for Flu surveillance specimens. The CDC Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) Multiplex Assay is a real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that detects and differentiates RNA from SARS-CoV-2, influenza A virus, and influenza B virus in upper or lower respiratory specimens. More information on the assay can be found at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/multiplex.html.

           

          At this time, this assay will only be provided to established submitters enrolled in the Flu Surveillance Program.  Positive influenza A and B specimens will continue to be subtyped using the CDC Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel as resources allow. All current COVID-19 testing activities will continue and will not be affected by the addition of the new assay.

           

           

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
          Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday  

          Posted Oct 06, 2020


          Changes to the Texas DSHS Laboratory Fee Schedule

             

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section (LSS) is in the process of revising laboratory testing and fees for laboratory services to meet business needs.  These revisions are proposed to take effect January 1, 2021. Stakeholders can submit comments until December 30, 2020 at LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov or by mail at:  Laboratory Services Section, Attn. Fee Schedule Changes, PO Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347.  

          Fee schedule changes:

          Visit https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/Fees/90-day-notice---Jan-2021-Fee-Schedule-Notice---full-letter-for-website.pdf to view all proposed fee schedule changes, including:

          • fee changes to existing tests,
          • new tests added, and
          • existing tests discontinued.

          The new fee schedules will be posted to the DSHS Laboratory website by January 1, 2021.  To view the current Austin and South Texas DSHS Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/fees.shtm
           

          DSHS Laboratory Forms:

          As with previous fee revisions, the laboratory submission forms may also be revised.  Revised submission forms would be provided to you no later than December 31, 2020 for use beginning January 1, 2021.  

          Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

          Posted Oct 01, 2020


          The DSHS Austin Laboratory Expands COVID-19 Testing Capabilities With The Aptima® SARS-CoV-2 Assay


          Starting October 1, 2020, the DSHS Austin Laboratory will expand its COVID-19 testing capabilities by introducing the Aptima® SARS-CoV-2 Assay (Hologic Panther® system). This test is designed to detect the nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in respiratory specimens. All current COVID-19 testing activities will continue and will not be affected by the addition of the new assay.

          Specimens will not be tested without prior Epidemiologist (Epi) approval.  Contact your Regional and/or Local Health Department (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) and obtain Epi approval to test.

          • Find specimen collection and submission instructions here
          • Required Forms: G-2V Specimen Submission Form
          • Acceptable specimen criteria:
            • NP, nasal and OP swab specimens in Viral Transport Medium (VTM), Universal Transport Medium (UTM), Liquid Amies, or 0.85% Saline.
            • Shipping Requirements 
              • if DSHS receives within 3 days of collection ─ ship cold at +2-8°C
              • if DSHS receives > 3 days of collection ─ frozen/dry ice at -20°C or colder

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
          Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday  

          Posted Oct 01, 2020


          DSHS Laboratory – Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice


          Starting October 1, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory will be changing the testing criteria for Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) isolates following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

          Please submit P. aeruginosa isolates for testing if they meet both criteria below:

          1.     resistant (MIC ≥ 8 μg/ml) to at least one of the following antibiotics ─ imipenem, meropenem, doripenem

          2.     non-susceptible (intermediate or resistant, MIC ≥ 16 μg/ml) to cefepime or ceftazidime

          If your facility does not test for cefepime and/or ceftazidime resistance, you are encouraged to continue sending all P. aeruginosa isolates that meet the first criteria for further testing. For questions, please email TexasARLN@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted September 22, 2020


          REMINDER NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES


          Type of Tube: 2mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

          Lot #: 9158890

          Expiration Date: 09/30/2020

          Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

                 What to do next:

          • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
          • Order new supplies
            • Fax order to (512) 776-7672  

                  For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

          To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

          Posted September 16, 2020


          NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES


          Type of Tube: 2mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

          Lot #: 9158890

          Expiration Date: 09/30/2020

          Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

                 What to do next:

          • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
          • Order new supplies
            • Fax order to (512) 776-7672

                  For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

          To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

          Posted September 1, 2020


          NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES


          Type of Tube: 6 mL Red Top Serum Tube (Silicone Coated)

          Lot #: 9093735, 9081760

          Expiration Date: 8/31/2020

          Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

                 What to do next:

          • Review your stock, discard any expired tubes
          • Order new supplies; fax order to (512) 776-7672

                 For questions call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6236.

          To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm 

          Posted Jul 03, 2020


          Changes to Newborn Screening Result Reporting Statements

          The Texas DSHS Newborn Screening (NBS) Laboratory is updating the result reporting statements for the following abnormal results to reflect the current Clinical Care Coordination follow up care recommendations. These updates are scheduled to go into effect August 10, 2020. All changes are indicated in red.

          Overall Result

          Disorder

          Screening Result

          New/Revised Screening Result Note

          Abnormal   

          Amino Acid Disorders

          Abnormal

          Possible Argininemia. Arginine Elevated. Recommend plasma ammonia, plasma quantitative amino acids and urine orotic acid within 48 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist.

          Abnormal   

          Fatty Acid Disorders

          Abnormal

          Possible VLCAD. C14:1 Slightly Elevated. Recommend plasma acylcarnitine profile and plasma (free and total) carnitine within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist. DNA report to follow.

          Abnormal   

          Fatty Acid Disorders

          Abnormal

          Possible VLCAD. C14:1 Elevated. Recommend plasma acylcarnitine profile and plasma (free and total) carnitine within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist. DNA report to follow.

          Abnormal   

          Organic Acid Disorders

          Abnormal

          Possible Methylmalonic Acidemia or Propionic Acidemia. C3 Elevated. Recommend plasma methylmalonic acid, total plasma homocysteine, plasma acylcarnitine profile and urine organic acids within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist.

          Abnormal   

          Organic Acid Disorders

          Abnormal

          Possible Methylmalonic Acidemia or Propionic Acidemia. C3 Slightly Elevated; C3/C2 Elevated. Recommend plasma methylmalonic acid, total plasma homocysteine, plasma acylcarnitine profile and urine organic acids within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist.

          Abnormal   

          Galactosemia

          Abnormal

          Possible Galactosemia. GALT activity Low. If this is the first screen, recommend serum GALT enzyme within 24 hours and immediate telephone consultation with a pediatric metabolic specialist. Otherwise, follow recommendations received from Clinical Care Coordination. DNA report to follow.

          A full list of all possible results can be found here: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/nbs/results/.

          Reminders:

          • Read Screening Result Notes fully before taking action.
          • Contact laboratory with any questions:
            • Telephone: 1-888-963-7111 X7585 or x2638 
            • Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.tx.gov

          Posted Jul 24, 2020


          DSHS Laboratory – Microbiological Sciences Branch Notice


          The DSHS Laboratory has implemented the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the identification and serotyping of some Salmonella spp. in human clinical specimens. WGS will be used on a limited number of Salmonella spp. surveillance samples to provide Organism ID and Serotype. This information will be included in the reports for selected clinical samples submitted on or after July 20, 2020.

          • This additional information cannot be provided for samples submitted previously.
          • All clinical samples submitted will be processed for surveillance purposes. Only a portion of these samples will be sequenced to provide this additional information.

          There will be no changes to the specimen submission or reporting process.

          Please contact the DSHS Microbiology laboratory with any questions you have at Lab.Microbiology@dshs.texas.gov.

          Posted Jul 20, 2020


          Urgent – Assistance Needed

           

          Due to a recent incident, Data Rush Couriers, DSHS Laboratory’s third party courier, may be contacting you in an effort to gather needed information related to specimen submission. Please cooperate with their information gathering efforts as quickly as possible so that regulatory timelines may be met.

          Posted July 09, 2020


          DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

          Independence Day Holiday Closure:

           

          Departments at South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed at 12:00 pm on

          Friday, July 3, 2020:

           

          THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

          Monday, July 6, 2020

           

          PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

          • 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
          • 956-364-8750 (Serology)
          • 956-364-8753 (TB)
          • 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)
                               

          To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

          http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm

          Posted May 26, 2020


          Attention

          Holiday Notice


          Bacteriological Water Samples will not be accepted at DSHS Laboratory on the following dates:

          • July 3, 2020
          • September 4, 2020 – September 7, 2020

          Reminder:  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, bacteriology water samples are accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 2pm (Except Federal Holidays).

          Posted June 25, 2020


          NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES

          Type of Tube: 2mL Purple Top Venous Tube (K2EDTA)

          Lot #: 9065783

          Expiration Date: 06/30/2020

           Please review your stock, discarding any that are expired. 

          Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

          Questions?

          Call (512)776-6236

          To order new supplies, fax an order to (512)776-7672.

          To see previous notices, please visit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/cc_notices.shtm

          Posted May 26, 2020



          LabOnline:

          New Web Portal for Public Health and Clinical Chemistry Results

           

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section (LSS) announces the roll out of LabOnline beginning June 1, 2020.

          Through this new and improved Web Portal, approved healthcare providers may access Public Health and Clinical Chemistry test results online 24 / 7.

           Signing up is easy!

          To request access:

          Once your request has been processed, you will receive an email containing your User ID and a temporary password.

          To streamline account set up and ensure proper system security, please note the following restrictions:

          • DSHS must require new forms for facilities and users that had previous agreements on file.
          • DSHS can no longer accept older versions of the application forms.
          • DSHS can no longer allow access for users applying with a personal email address 


          Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

          Posted May 26, 2020


          NOTICE: EXPIRING BLOOD COLLECTION TUBES


          Type of Tube: 2mL (K2EDTA) purple top venous tubes

          Lot #: 9036741

          Expiration Date: 05/31/2020


           Please review your stock, discarding any that are expired. 

          Specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected!

          Questions?

          Call (512)776-6236

          To order new supplies, fax an order to (512)776-7672.  

          Posted May 21, 2020 


          Notice - Updated Specimen Submission Forms and Instructions  


          The DSHS Laboratory recently updated the G-THSTEPS and G-1B submission form instructions to clarify the two-patient specific identifier requirement in Section 2. Patient Information

          New versions of the G-THSteps and G-1B specimen submission forms with pre-populated submitter information were mailed to the DSHS Laboratory active submitters in January. Providers are asked to verify that the submitter contact information is correct on the new specimen submission form. If it is not correct, please contact the Laboratory Reporting Group to update your information. 

          All previous versions of specimen submission forms and instructions should be destroyed.  Only current versions, dated January 2020 should be used to submit specimens to the DSHS Laboratory.

          For more information regarding DSHS Laboratory Submission Forms, including current sample submission forms and instructions, visit the DSHS Laboratory website at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/mrs_forms.shtm.

          For questions or comments, please contact the Laboratory Reporting Group at 1-888-963-7111 extension 7578 or Tiffunee Odoms at 512-776-6275.

          Posted May 20, 2020


          DSHS TB/HIV/STD Section to Move Starting May 18


          The DSHS TB/HIV/STD Section will move to a new physical location between May 18 and May 29, 2020. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the physical work location of most staff will not change until those precautions are modified. However, phone numbers, fax numbers, and the delivery address will change in stages:

          May 18: The main section phone number will change to 737-255-4300. Some section fax machines and staff phone numbers will change. The physical delivery address will change to 201 West Howard Lane, Austin, Texas 78753. The mailing address will not change (DSHS TB/HIV/STD Section, Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873, Austin, Texas 78714). Please do not send deliveries to the new physical address until the location is staffed.

          May 22: Fax and phone numbers for the HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch will change.

          May 29: Fax and phone numbers for the Texas HIV Medication Program and Tuberculosis and Hansen's Disease Branch will change.

          Unchanged by the move: Section staff email addresses. Section web addresses. The Texas HIV Medication Program 1-800 number.

          Stakeholders will be informed of the changed phone and fax information directly by DSHS staff. To learn more, contact Section staff, call the current Section phone number 512-533-3000, or email the section.  

          Posted April 13, 2020


          Notice regarding COVID-19 testing at the DSHS Austin Laboratory

          As of Monday, April 13, 2020, the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory will begin utilizing the PerkinElmer New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit and chemagic extraction platform to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing.  The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel will continue to be available until current supply resources are exhausted.

          • Acceptable specimens include:

          o   Nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs, combined NP/OP swabs, and nasal swabs in Viral Transport Media (VTM), Universal Transport Media (UTM), liquid Amies media, and sterile saline.

          ****Please continue to use the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions for specimen collection, handling, and shipping guidance.****

          ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
          Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week  

          Posted April 13, 2020


          Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing to the DSHS Austin Laboratory

           

          As of April 6, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory has made the following changes regarding acceptable specimens for COVID-19 testing. 

          1.  The DSHS Interim COVID-19 Case Report Form (found at htps://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/public-health.aspx) is no longer required with sample submission.

           

          For further details, please see the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions located on the DSHS Laboratory website

          PUI ID is no longer required.  However, ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov 

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
          Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week  

          Posted April 6, 2020


          Notice regarding the impacts of COVID-19 response to the DSHS Austin Laboratory


          Due to ongoing DSHS Laboratory COVID-19 response efforts, the following microbiological testing areas may experience delays in laboratory results reporting, effective April 1, 2020:

          Fungal isolate identification*

          Parasitology identification*

          Influenza surveillance testing

          Mosquito surveillance testing

          Gonorrhea/Chlamydia/Hepatitis C specimen testing

          *Specimens for Candida auris testing and for malaria testing will not be affected and will follow regular testing schedules. 

           

          In addition, testing for foodborne outbreak investigations, including whole genome sequencing, for Listeria will continue but testing for Salmonella, Escherichia coli and other foodborne bacteria will be upon epidemiologist request only.

           

          An updated notification will be issued when routine laboratory testing resumes.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov 

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779
          Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week 

          Posted April 2, 2020


          Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing to the DSHS Austin Laboratory


          As of April 1, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory has made the following changes regarding acceptable specimens for COVID-19 testing. 

          1.   The recommended specimen type is still a Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab (Dacron-tipped with a plastic or aluminum shaft) in viral transport media (VTM). If VTM is unavailable Universal Transport Media (UTM), Amies, or 0.85% Saline may be substituted.

          2.   Nasal swabs and nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) swabs are now acceptable.  Oropharyngeal (OP) swabs are still an acceptable specimen type.

          **Please continue to send a single specimen.  If multiple specimens are received, only 1 swab will be tested in an effort to maximize resources.**

          3.   The DSHS Interim COVID-19 Case Report Form (found at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/public-health.aspxmust be included with each sample submission.

          For further details, please see the “Specimen Types” and “Specimen Collection and Handling” Sections of the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions located on the DSHS Laboratory website

          PUI ID is no longer required.  However, ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779 
          Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week 

          Posted April 1, 2020


          COVID-19 and Newborn Screening

          During this time of extraordinary challenge, the DSHS Newborn Screening (NBS) Program appreciates the dedication and commitment of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for Texas newborns.

           

          Q: Has DSHS altered guidance for collection of newborn screens?

          A: No. The 1st newborn screen should be collected between 24 - 48 hours of age, or before hospital discharge. The 2nd newborn screen should be collected on every infant at 1-2 weeks of age.

          DSHS recognizes that healthcare providers may require adjustments to newborn screening protocols. 

          Completely and accurately fill out all information requested on the collection kits.

          Incomplete or inaccurate demographic information can result in specimen rejection, incorrect results, or delay in initiation of follow-up on out of range results.

          Ensure parent contact information (phone number and address) is current.

          Advise parent to select a pediatrician and attempt to make the first appointment prior to leaving the hospital. Enter pediatrician contact information on the collection kit.

           

          Q: What if a parent is requesting early discharge to socially isolate themselves and their newborn?

          A: Collect the first screen immediately prior to discharge.

           

          Q: For 2nd screens, what if our facility is unable to provide a location to collect the specimen?

          A: If necessary, explore the availability of other collection locations such as an outpatient clinic or reference laboratory.  If no alternative can be identified, ensure a screen is collected as soon as can be safely scheduled.

          The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends pediatricians continue to see newborns and infants for preventive care. AAP CoVID-19 guidance includes:

          • Delaying care for newborns and other vulnerable children during this time could have devastating consequences for their health.
          • Be flexible to determine the best way to schedule patient visits to minimize the risk, including spacing out visits, modifying clinical space, or rescheduling visits for older children until a later date.
          • Pediatricians may choose to limit well visits to early morning while reserving the remainder of the day for sick visits.
          • Pediatricians are encouraged to dedicate specific rooms for sick visits and well visits; or for those with multiple practice sites to consider using one office location to see all well visits (staffed by those in higher risk categories).

           

          Q: What if a 2nd screen cannot be collected in the recommended timeframe of 7-14 days of age?

          A: Collect the 2nd screen as soon as conditions allow. This ensures the earliest possible interventions for affected babies.  DSHS does not reject specimens collected on older children, but NBS testing methodologies have been designed to minimize the number of false negative and false positive results in newborns and young infants.

             

          Q: What if the 1st screen was out of range or unsatisfactory?

          It is imperative to ensure that another screen is collected for newborns with an out of range or unsatisfactory 1st screen. Having an unsatisfactory screen is like not being screened at all. In some situations, newborns with out of range first screens may not require diagnostic evaluation if a second screen is normal.

           

          Q: What if the parent refuses the 2nd screen?

          A: Parents can only refuse to have their child screened if the screening conflicts with a parent’s religious tenets or practices (see Texas Health & Safety Code Sec. 33.012). To refuse, a parent must sign a form stating he/she has a religious objection to newborn screening. Points to consider before refusing a second newborn screening:

          • DSHS has implemented a two-screen system to maximize the effectiveness of testing for all disorders on the Texas Newborn Screening Panel.
          • The second screen routinely detects babies at risk for severe medical complications. These babies sometimes have a normal first screen.
          • Some disorders (like cystic fibrosis) rely upon both newborn screens to reduce the number of babies who would otherwise require additional testing with a specialist to determine whether they have the condition or not.

           

          Q: Our facility has new staff assisting with specimen collection and out of range result follow-up coordination. What resources are available for quality assurance?

          A: Healthcare provider guidance on specimen collection, transport and result reporting can be found at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/nbsHCRes.shtm 

           

          Please completely and accurately fill out all information requested on the collection kits. Incomplete or inaccurate demographic information can result in specimen rejection, incorrect results, or delay in initiation of follow-up on out of range results.

           

          Questions?

          Corona Virus in Texas:

          https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/

           

          Newborn Screening Laboratory:

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

           

          Clinical Care Coordination:

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 3957 or 512-776-3957

          Newborn@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted March 27, 2020



          ATTENTION  BACTERIOLOGICAL WATER CUSTOMERS

          Public Water Systems and Private

          Effective March 30, 2020

          Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, the hours and times for bacteriological water receipt will change to the following starting on March, 30, 2020.

          Water samples accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 2pm (Except Federal Holidays).

          An updated notification will be sent when we resume to our regular schedule of Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm (Except Federal Holidays).

          For questions or comments:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7598 or for local calls 512-776-7598

          Posted March 26, 2020


          Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing to the DSHS Austin Laboratory

           

          As of March 20, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory has made the following changes to the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions located on the DSHS Laboratory website. 

          1.This document applies only to the DSHS Austin Laboratory.  For information regarding submission to other Public Health Laboratories in Texas, contact your local health department.

          2.   We recommend sending only a single Nasopharyngeal swab in VTM.  Please see additional language under the section, “Specimen Types”.

          3.   A sample G-2V submission has been added to clarify instructions to fill out the form.  Sample G-2V.pdf

          ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria and have a state specific PUI identification number for testing prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779
          Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday 

          Posted March 20, 2020


          Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing

           

          As of March 5, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory is accepting specimens per the criteria outlined in the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions document found at COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions

          ALL specimens for 2019 nCoV testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet PUI criteria and have a state specific PUI identification number for testing prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

          Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

          DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779 Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday

          Posted March 5, 2020


          Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) testing

           

          ALL specimens for 2019 nCoV testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet PUI criteria for testing prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

          Posted February 10, 2020


          Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory - Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, Austin TX


          Please complete the following survey. Your responses are very important as they help us improve our services.

          The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.  Please click here to begin the survey. 

          Please complete the survey by February 29, 2020.

          If you have questions, contact the DSHS Laboratory at 512-776-7318. 

          Posted January 30, 2020




          Newborn Screening Insurance/Self-pay Kit Fee Increase


          Q. When does the increase start?

          A. January 1, 2020.

          Q: What is the new cost of insurance/self-pay kit?

          A: The new cost for each insurance/self-pay test kit is $60.58.

          Q: Why is the fee increasing?

          A: The Texas Newborn Screening Panel has expanded to include X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD). The increase will cover the additional costs for laboratory and follow-up services.

          Q: Who pays for the insurance/self-pay kits?

          A: DSHS will bill the healthcare provider that orders insurance/self-pay test kits. 

          • Tips for choosing and using the correct kit:
            • Use the Insurance/Self-Pay Kit (form #NBS4) for newborns covered under a private insurance plan or paying out of pocket. 
            • ONLY use the Medicaid/CHIP/Charity Kit (form #NBS3) for newborns Medicaid eligible, covered by CHIP, or that have absolutely no other payment option (as required in Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Section 37.55).

          Q: What steps do providers take for reimbursement of the newborn screening test kit cost?

          A: 

          1) Contact each health plan or insurance company to update your facility contracts. 

          2) Verify that Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code S3620 is updated to match the current cost for the screening kit.

          3) Submit newborn screening claims using HCPCS code S3620.

          Notes:

          • HCPCS Code S3620: Newborn metabolic screening panel includes the test kit and the laboratory tests specified by the state for inclusion in this panel. The healthcare provider may be responsible for additional costs not included in the cost of the test kit such as preparing and shipping the specimen to the DSHS Laboratory.
          • CPT code 36416: Collection of capillary blood specimen, may also be used.

          Q: What can be done if the correct reimbursement is not received?

          A:

          1) Contact the health plan or insurance company to seek resolution.

          2) If no resolution is identified:

          • For Texas Regulated Health Plans (Fully Insured and HMOs), contact:

          Texas Department of Insurance.

          https://www.tdi.texas.gov/hprovider/providercompl.html or 1-800-252-3439

          • Self-Funded Plans regulated at the federal level (Most people who have health insurance in Texas have a self-funded plan), contact:

          U. S. Department of Labor
          Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries

          PWBA N5619

          200 Constitution Ave. NW
          Washington DC 20210
          1-866-444-3272

          • If insurance is provided by a school district, city, county or state government, a union, or church, work directly with the health plan.

          Note: DSHS does not control how insurance companies operate or the reimbursement rates that are set. 

          Questions?

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted December 13, 2019



          Laboratory Christmas and New Year Holiday Closure Reminders

           

          Newborn Screening Laboratory (NBS)

          Christmas Holiday Closed Dates: Dec. 25 – Dec. 26

          • The NBS Laboratory will test specimens received and accessioned on Dec. 24.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Dec. 25.
          • NBS testing will resume on Dec. 27.

          New Year’s Holiday Closed Date: Jan. 1

          • The NBS Laboratory will test specimens received and accessioned on Dec. 31.
          • NBS testing will resume on Jan. 2.

          Reminders:

          • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of NBS specimens.
          • Specimens must be dried prior to shipment and should arrive at the DSHS Laboratory within 24 hours after collection or as soon as possible. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as quickly as possible.

           

          Clinical Chemistry Laboratory

          Christmas Holiday Closed Dates: Dec. 24 – Dec. 26

          • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid, cholesterol, and creatinine specimens must be received by Dec. 23 to complete testing before the Christmas holiday.
          • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid panel, glucose, or creatinine specimens Dec. 23 – Dec. 27.

          New Year’s Holiday Closed Date: Jan. 1

          • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid, cholesterol, and creatinine specimens must be received by Dec. 31 to complete testing before the New Year’s holiday.
          • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid panel, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Dec. 31.

          Reminders:

          • Lead and total hemoglobin specimens must be received within 14 days of collection.

          https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/MRS_labtests_toc.shtm

           

          Microbiology Testing Notices

          Christmas Holiday Closed Dates: Dec. 24 – Dec. 26

          New Year’s Holiday Closed Date: Jan. 1

          Rabies Laboratory

          • Shipping by Greyhound Bus is highly recommended during weekends and holidays.

          Christmas

          • Rabies specimens received by 8 a.m. on Dec. 23 will be tested.
            • Positive results will be called out before 5 p.m.
          • Specimens received between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 23, will be tested on Dec. 24.
            •  Positive results will be called out by noon.
            •  Negative results will be available on Dec. 27.
          • Specimens received after 3 p.m. on Dec. 23 through 8 a.m. Dec. 27 will be tested Dec. 27.
            • Results will be called out before 5 p.m.
          • Specimens received after 8 a.m. Dec. 27, and all specimens that arrive over the weekend will be tested Dec. 30.
            • Results will be called out before 5 p.m.

          New Years

          • Specimens received between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 will be tested on Jan. 1.
            • Positive results will be called out by noon.
            • Negative results will be available on Jan. 2.
          • Specimens received after 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 and before 8 a.m. on Jan. 2 will be tested on Jan. 2.
            • Results will be called out before 5 p.m.
          • Emergency testing is available on Dec. 24, Dec. 26, Dec. 28 and Jan. 2 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595).
            • Specimen receipt must be guaranteed by 8 a.m. on the day of testing.

          Viral Isolation Laboratory 

          • DO NOT ship specimens for delivery Dec. 24 through Dec. 26. 
            • Store specimens collected during this time at -70°C or below.
            • Ship specimens on dry ice for delivery on Dec. 27.
          • DO NOT ship specimens for delivery Dec. 31 through Jan. 1. 
            • Store specimens collected during this time at -70°C or below.
            • Ship specimens on dry ice for delivery on Jan. 2.

          Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory

          • To receive expedited AFB Smear and NAA for M. tuberculosis test results before the Christmas holiday:
            • Ensure specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8 a.m. on Dec. 23.
            • For expedited test requests call 512-776-7342.
          • DO NOT ship specimens Dec. 23 through Dec. 25.
            • Store collected specimens in the refrigerator and ship for delivery on Dec. 27. 
          • DO NOT ship specimens to be delivered on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. 
            • Store collected specimens in refrigerator and ship for delivery on Jan. 2.

          Serology Laboratory

          • DO NOT ship specimens Dec. 23 through Dec. 25.
            • Serum should be separated from the clot and frozen.
            • Ship with sufficient dry ice to keep serum frozen for delivery on Dec. 27. 
          • DO NOT ship specimens to be delivered on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. 
            • Serum should be separated from the clot and frozen.
            • Ship with sufficient dry ice to keep serum frozen for delivery on Jan. 2.

          Advanced Molecular Microbiology Laboratory

          • DO NOT ship specimens for CPO colonization testing to be received the following dates:
            • Dec. 23 through Dec. 27
            • Dec. 31 through Jan. 1
          • DO NOT ship specimens for other bacteria testing to be received the following dates:
            • Dec. 24 through Dec. 26
            • Dec. 31 through Jan. 1

          Bacteriology Water Samples

          • Water samples will not be accepted the following dates:
            • Dec. 23 through Dec. 27
            • Dec. 31 through Jan. 1

          Supply Order Requests

          • Priority overnight shipping requests received on or before Dec. 20 will be processed as normal.
          • Requests received by noon on Dec. 23 will be sent FedEx Ground.
          • Requests received after noon on Dec. 23 through Dec. 26 will be processed on Dec. 27.
          • Requests received on Dec. 27 will be processed Dec. 30. 

          Contact the Texas DSHS Laboratory:

          Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or for local calls 512-776-7318

          Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted November 1, 2019


          Result Report Delay Notice

          Beginning November 12, 2019, the DSHS Laboratory has delayed reporting of results for a small subset of newborn screening specimens due to testing instrument issues.

          All previously reported results are considered accurate and not affected by this issue.

          Mitigating steps have been completed and all delayed results are expected by November 22.

          What specimens are affected?

          Specimens received at the laboratory on or after November 8, 2019, which required additional second tier testing for X-ALD only. This was approximately three percent of specimens received or ~ 600 blood spots.

          How does this impact newborn screening test results?

          • Testing for all other newborn screening disorders has not been delayed.
          • Clinical Care Coordination staff have continued to contact providers for all out of range results as soon as testing has been completed.
          • Clinical Care Coordination staff will contact providers about out of range X-ALD results upon completion of testing.

          What action should healthcare submitters take?

          • Ensure receipt of a final report for all results.
          • Read all screening result notes and follow recommendations.
          • Follow instructions from clinical care coordination nurses on ALL abnormal newborn screening results.

          Questions?

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.state.tx.us

          Posted December 12, 2019





          Specimen Identification Guidelines

          • DSHS requires positive identification for all clinical specimens submitted for testing.
          • A submission form is required for each specimen submitted.
          • Each specimen must have at least two patient-specific identifiers attached to the primary specimen container at the time of collection.
          • Patient-specific identifiers on specimen and submission form must match.

          Note: The primary specimen container is the innermost container that holds the original specimen before processing and testing (e.g., specimen collection tube, swab, or cup).

          Acceptable specimen identifiers include but are not limited to:

          • Patient Name
          • CDC Number
          • Unique Random Number
          • Medical Record Number
          • Medicaid Number
          • Newborn Screening Kit Number
          • Date of Birth

          Note: Location based identifiers are NOT acceptable (e.g., hospital room number or street address).

          Submission Forms must contain:

          • Two patient-specific identifiers, at minimum
          • Date of Collection
          • Test(s) Requested
          • Billing information

          Questions? 

          Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6697 or for local calls 512-776-6697

          Email: LabInfo@DSHS.texas.gov

          Posted November, 20 2019


          DSHS Austin Laboratory Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Reminders

          Newborn Screening (NBS)

          Testing Notices:

          • NBS specimens received and accessioned on Wednesday, 11/27/2019 will be tested immediately by the NBS laboratory.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Thursday, 11/28/2019 (Thanksgiving Day).
          • NBS testing will resume on Saturday, 11/30/2019.
          • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Sunday, 12/1/2019.

          Healthcare Provider Reminders:

          • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
          • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as soon as possible.

          Clinical Chemistry

          Testing Notices:

          • Total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine specimens must be received by Wednesday, 11/27/2019 to complete testing before the holiday.
          • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid profile, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Fridays or on the day before a state-observed holiday.

          Healthcare Provider Reminders:

          Microbiology

          • Rabies:
            • Ship rabies specimens via Greyhound Bus.  Specimens received between 8 AM and noon on Wednesday, 11/27/2019 will be tested Friday, 11/29/2019.
            • Positive results will be called out before noon Friday, 11/29/2019. 
            • Emergency testing is available on Friday, 11/29/2019 and Saturday, 11/30/2019 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595). Specimen receipt must be guaranteed.
            • All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 12/2/2019 and reported before 5 PM.
          • Viral Isolation Laboratory:
            • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/27/2019 – Sunday, 12/1/2019.  Store specimens collected during this time at -70°C or below.
            • Ship specimens on dry ice the week of 12/2/2019.
          • Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory (TB):
            • Ensure critical AFB Smear and NAA for M. tuberculosis specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 11/27/2019.  
            • Call 512-776-7342 for expedited test requests before 9 AM on Wednesday, 11/27/2019.
            • Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/27/2019 to Friday, 11/29/2019.  Keep specimens in refrigerated storage until shipment.
            • Specimens will not be tested from Thursday, 11/28/2019 to Sunday, 12/1/2019.

          Bacteriology Water Samples

          • Water samples will not be accepted the following dates:
            • November 27, 2019 - December 1, 2019
            • December 23, 2019 - December 27, 2019
            • December 31, 2019 - January 1, 2020

          Supply Order Requests

          • Priority overnight shipping requests received on 11/26/2019 will be issued and sent as normal.
          • All other requests received by noon on 11/26/2019 will be sent FedEx Ground.
          • Requests received after noon on 11/26/2019 through 12/1 will be sent Monday, 12/2/2019.

          Questions?

          1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or locally 512-776-7318

          Main Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

          NBS Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          Clinical Chemistry Email: ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

          Container Preparation: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

          Posted November 04, 2019


          CHECK NEWBORN SCREENING KIT EXPIRATION DATES


          Newborn Screening kits with a serial number beginning with 17 (17-XXXXXXX) EXPIRE on October 31, 2019.

          Use ‘17 kits first to collect specimens before they expire.

          Specimens collected on ‘17 kits after October 31, 2019 will be REJECTED.

          Questions / Comments

          888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or 512-776-7333

          NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

          dshs.texas.gov/lab/newbornscreening.shtm

          Posted October 8, 2019 



          Changes to the Texas DSHS Laboratory Fee Schedule

          Including a fee increase to the NBS test

             

          The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section (LSS) is in the process of revising laboratory testing and fees for laboratory services to meet business needs.  These revisions are proposed to take effect January 1, 2020. Stakeholders can submit comments until December 30, 2019 at LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov or by mail at:  Laboratory Services Section, Attn. Fee Schedule Changes, PO Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347.  

           

          Increase of Fees Due to Inflation:

          The broadest change to the Austin and South Texas DSHS Laboratory fee schedules would include the addition of 3% inflation to testing fees that have not been updated in the past year.  DSHS’ inflation-related increases would mirror medical inflation which is calculated by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Laboratory Services Section would adopt inflation-related increases to offset increased testing costs, such as laboratory supplies and various procedural/ technological changes that allow Texas to keep pace with public health lab testing standards.

           

          There will be a fee increase to the NBS test:

          Effective January 1, 2020, the new cost of PAID newborn screening (NBS) kits will be raised to $60.58 due to the addition of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) to the test panel.  PAID NBS kits ordered on or after January 1, 2020 will be billed at the new price of $60.58.

           

          Other fee schedule changes:

          Visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/Fees/90-day-notice---Jan-2020-Fee-Schedule-Notice---full-letter-for-website.pdf to view all proposed fee schedule changes, including:

          • fee changes to existing tests,
          • changes to test names to more accurately reflect the actual test procedure,
          • new tests added, and
          • existing tests discontinued.

           

          The new fee schedules will be posted to the DSHS Laboratory website by January 1, 2020.  To view the current Austin and South Texas DSHS Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/fees.shtm

           

          DSHS Laboratory Forms:

          As with previous fee revisions, the laboratory submission forms will also be revised.  Revised submission forms will be provided to you no later than December 31, 2019, and they may be used beginning January 1, 2020. 

          Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

          Posted October 1, 2019



          DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

          Labor Day Holiday Closure:

           

          Departments at South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed on Monday, September 2, 2019.

           

          FEDEX DOES NOT HAVE PICKUP OR DELIVERY SERVICE ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND SPECIMEN STABILITY REQUIREMENTS.

             

          THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

          Tuesday, September 3, 2019

           

          PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

              o 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
              o 956-364-8750 (Serology)
              o 956-364-8753 (TB)
              o 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)

              To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

              http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm

               

              Please refer to the FedEx website for their holiday schedule:

              https://www.fedex.com/en-us/service-guide/holiday-schedule.html

              THANK YOU

              Posted: August 22, 2019


              DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

              LBJ’s Birthday Holiday Closure:

               

              Departments at South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed at the following time on

              Tuesday, August 27, 2019:

               

              Serology: OPEN ALL DAY

              Clinical (Chemistries, CBCs): NOON

              Emergency Preparedness: OPEN ALL DAY

              TB: NOON


              CAMERON AND HIDALGO COUNTY SUBMITTERS:

              PLEASE DELIVER CLINICAL SPECIMENS BY 11:00 AM FOR SAME DAY TESTING. IF CLINICAL SPECIMENS ARE DELIVERED AFTER 11:00, THEY WILL BE HELD FOR TESTING THE FOLLOWING DAY.


              THE LABORATORY WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON

              Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

                 

              PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

              • 956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)
              • 956-364-8750 (Serology)
              • 956-364-8753 (TB)
              • 956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)

               

              To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

              http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm

                    THANK YOU

              Posted: August 22, 2019        



              Attention

              Due to the July holiday closings, Bacteriological Water Samples

              will not be accepted at DSHS Laboratory on the following dates:

              July 3rd, July 4th and July 5th 2019


              All sample containers must include the following:

              (label legibly with waterproof ink directly on the bottle if the pre-printed label is missing)


              - PWS Identification (ID) Number

              - Date and time sample was collected

              - Sampler's initials

              - Address / location where the sample was collected




              Posted June 26, 2019


              New Contact Information for Remote Data Systems Help

              Effective June 3, 2019

              Customers using Result Web Portal, Newborn Screening Web Application (Neometrics), or both, must contact the HHSC Consolidated Help Desk for password and login issues

              HHSC Consolidated Help Desk:

              Email: help@hhsc.state.tx.us 

              Phone: 855-435-7181

              Questions? 

              Call: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7578 or for local calls 512-776-7578

              Email: RemoteLabSupport@dshs.texas.gov 

              Laboratory Correspondence & Bulletins page URL:
              http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/correspondencebulletins.shtm

              Posted May 31, 2019


              DSHS-SOUTH TEXAS LABORATORY

              Memorial Day Holiday Closure:

              South Texas Laboratory in Harlingen will be closed:

              Monday, May 27, 2019 

              FedEx delivery will also be closed and unavailable to pick up packages


              The laboratory will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

              PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS:

              956-364-8751 or 956-364-8752 (Clinical)

              956-364-8750 (Serology)

              956-364-8753 (TB)

              956-364-8369 (Emergency Preparedness)

              To sign up to receive e-mail updates for correspondence and bulletins, please go to:

              http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/STL/STLCorrespondenceBulletins.shtm


              Posted May 6, 2019



              ATTENTION  BACTERIOLOGICAL WATER CUSTOMERS

              Public Water Systems and Private

              Effective June 3, 2019

              Effective 6/3/2019, the hours and times for bacteriological water receipt will change to the following:

              Water samples accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm (Except Federal Holidays).  See list below:

              Holiday Dates

              July 3 - 4, 2019  

              November 27 - 29, 2019

              December 23 - 26, 2019

              December 31, 2019

              January 1, 2020

              For questions or comments:

              Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7598 or for local calls 512-776-7598

              Posted May 1, 2019


              Notification regarding updated DSHS Laboratory Adopted Rules


              In the December 28, 2018 edition of the Texas Register, (43 TexReg 8550), pages 8551-8553 in the linked PDF, proposed administrative code changes were offered for public comment.  These changes were to the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25: Health Services; Part 1: Department of State Health Services; Chapter 73: Laboratories (25 TAC §73.41, §73.54, §73.55).  The section pertains to the fee schedule for Clinical testing, Newborn screening and Chemical analysis. 

              During the public comment period, DSHS received comments from Cure Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Cure SMA) and the Texas Medical Association (TMA).

              • Cure SMA provided support for the proposed changes to the rules.
              • TMA recommended adding language to Section 73.41 that stakeholders and LSS customers will be notified automatically through an e-mail subscription management system that provides subscribers with access to information on proposed changes to the LSS Public Fee Schedule.
              • TMA also recommended that LSS interested individuals (such as physicians) and entities should be notified automatically through an email subscription management system regarding final and adopted changes to the LSS Public Fee Schedule.

              DSHS declined to revise Section §73.41 based on these comments. DSHS responded to TMA in the adopted preamble that the longstanding practice of the LSS to engage stakeholders has included direct communication, LSS website and email subscription management systems. Stakeholders have the option to sign up for email updates regarding rules and fees changes through the DSHS LSS website at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/correspondencebulletins.shtm.  The LSS will continue to use the same methods of outreach and communication with stakeholders in order to ensure timely and inclusive stakeholder involvement in the fee change process.

              A section-by-section summary, major comment summaries, background and purpose of the adopted changes, and statutory authority summary, are included in the April 26, 2019 edition of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 2158-2159).  The unchanged rules will be effective May 2, 2019.  

              Posted April 29, 2019


              Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory - Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, Austin TX


              Please complete the following survey. Your responses are very important as they help us improve our services.

              The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.  Please click “OK” to begin the survey. 

              Please complete the survey by March 25, 2019.

              If you have questions, contact the DSHS Laboratory at 512-776-7598.

              Posted February 27, 2019


              Attention Submitters

              CHECK EXPIRATION DATES and LABEL PLACEMENT

               

              When submitting bacterial isolates on media, please make sure that the expiration date of the media is visible on the plate/slant and expired media is not used.

              Specimens plated on expired media will be REJECTED.

               

              Questions / Comments

              Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7599 or for local calls 512-776-7599

              Email: DSHSLabMicrobiology@dshs.texas.gov

               

              Posted January 31, 2019 


              The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section(LSS) is proposing changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

              The purpose of the changes is to repeal rules §73.54 and §73.55 related to the Fee Schedule for Clinical Testing and Newborn Screening, as well as Chemical Analyses, from TAC. Additionally, rule §73.41 will be amended to direct stakeholders to the LSS website to view the most current laboratory fee schedule.

              The public comment period ends January 27, 2019.  Additional details, including a full draft of the proposed rule changes may be found here.    https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking

              Posted January 10, 2019 


              RESULTS ARE JUST A CLICK AWAY…

               

              Sign up for a free online account today!


              Available remote data systems:  

              • Newborn Screening (NBS) Results via Neometrics
              • Clinical Chemistry (THSTEPS) Results via Results-Web Portal
              • Public Health Microbiology (PH) Results via Results-Web Portal 
              • Public Health Microbiology (PHLIMS for Epidemiologists) Results via Results-Web Portal (LabWare)   


              Signing up is easy!

              To use the above remote data system(s), complete these forms:

              • One Facility Security Agreement per facility (or per Submitter ID) (pdf)
              • One Web User Access Agreement per user (pdf)  

              Once forms are completed email to: Remotelabsupport@dshs.texas.gov  

              More information about the web applications can be found on the DSHS Laboratory Services Section website here.

              Posted October 30, 2018



              ATTENTION NEWBORN SCREENING SUBMITTERS

              Hemoglobin G Reporting Resumes October 11, 2018

              Effective 10/11/2018, specimens showing possible Hemoglobin G during testing, resumed reporting as “Hemoglobin G”.

              For questions or comments:

              Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 or for local calls 512-776-7333
              Email: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

              Posted October 16, 2018



              Texas Department of State Health Services - Laboratory

              Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Reminders

              The Texas DSHS Laboratory in Austin will be closed:
              11/22/2018 - Thursday
              11/23/2018 – Friday


              Newborn Screening (NBS) 

              Testing Notices:

              • NBS specimens received and accessioned on Wednesday, 11/21/2018 will be tested immediately by the NBS laboratory.
              • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Thursday, 11/22/2018 (Thanksgiving Day).
              • NBS testing will resume on Saturday, 11/24/2018.
              • Healthcare providers may be notified of critical level preliminary presumptive positive results on Sunday, 11/25/2018.

              Healthcare Provider Reminders: 

              • DO NOT delay collection or shipment of newborn screening specimens.
              • Ship dried specimens within 24 hours. If mail or courier services are unavailable, ship as quickly as possible.

               


              Clinical Chemistry

              Testing Notices:

              • The Clinical Chemistry laboratory must receive specimen submissions for total hemoglobin, lead, glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine testing by Wednesday, 11/21/2018 to complete testing prior to the holiday.
              • DO NOT ship cholesterol, lipid profile, glucose, or creatinine specimens on Fridays or on the day before a state-observed holiday.

              Healthcare Provider Reminders:

              • Specimens submitted for lead and total hemoglobin testing must be received within 14 days of collection.
              • Specimens submitted for glucose, lipid/cholesterol and creatinine testing must be received according to specimen submission guidelines available at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/mrs_labtests_toc.shtm
                      

              Microbiology

              Testing Notices:

              • Specimens for rabies testing should be shipped via Greyhound Bus.  Specimens received between 8 AM and noon on Wednesday, 11/21/2018 will be tested Friday, 11/23/2018 and positive results will be called out before noon. 
              • Emergency testing will be available on Friday, 11/23/2018 and Saturday, 11/24/2018 by arrangement with laboratory personnel (512-776-7595) if specimen receipt can be guaranteed.   Negative specimen results will be available Monday, 11/26/2018.  All other specimens will be tested on Monday, 11/26/2018 and reported before 5 PM.


              Healthcare Provider Reminders:

              • Viral Isolation Laboratory:  Do not ship specimens Wednesday, 11/21/2018 – Sunday, 11/25/2018.  If specimens are collected during this time period, please store at -70°C or below and ship specimens the following week, beginning Monday, 11/26/2018 on dry ice.
              • Mycobacteriology/Mycology Laboratory (TB): To receive expedited AFB Smear and/or NAAfor M. tuberculosis test results before the holiday, please ensure that specimens are delivered to the laboratory by 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 11/21/2018. Please telephone expedited test requests to 512-776-7342.

                 

              Questions? Contact the Texas DSHS Laboratory:

              Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7318 or for local calls 512-776-7318

              Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov

              NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov

              Or: mailto:ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

              Posted October 2, 2018



              The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section  is proposing changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

              The purpose of the changes is to repeal rules §73.54 and §73.55 related to the Fee Schedule for Clinical Testing and Newborn Screening, as well as Chemical Analyses, from TAC. Additionally, rule §73.41 will be amended to direct stakeholders to the LSS website to view the most current laboratory fee schedule.

              Changes to the Laboratory’s Public Fee Schedule will be made based on the business needs of the LSS and the public health needs of the department and posted on the Laboratory’s website for stakeholder review. Changes to available laboratory testing and related pricing may include implementing new testing methodologies, updating fees to reflect the cost of testing, and eliminating certain low volume tests to make more efficient use of staff time and to reduce costs. Any increase in fees may include processes for stakeholder input as well as customer communication regarding all changes to the fee schedule.

              A full draft of the proposed rule changes may be found in the draft rules section here. https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking

              For questions or comments please contact Martha Thompson at martha.thompson@dshs.texas.gov or 

              (512) 776-6191 by August 31, 2018.

              Posted August 20, 2018  


              Notice of Rider 37 Stakeholder Meeting - DSHS Newborn Screening Program
              Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:00pm – 4:00pm

              The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will hold a stakeholder meeting to accept comments as the agency develops a report for the S.B. 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, Article II, Department of State Health Services, Rider 37. DSHS will receive oral or written comments by interested persons. Individuals can present oral statements when called upon in order of registration. DSHS will determine the comment time for each individual by the total number of persons registered to speak in the time allotted. If time permits, each speaker will have three minutes, but this amount may be adjusted to allow for more registrants to provide comments.

              "Department of State Health Services Rider 37 Stakeholder Meeting Presentation Link July 12, 2018"  

              Location:

              Department of State Health Services Central Campus
              Moreton Building – Room M-100
              1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX
              For location details: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/visitor/complex.shtm

              Background:

              The 2017-18 General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017 (Article II, Department of State Health Services, Rider 37) requires the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to study the most effective way to bill private insurers for newborn screening kits. The study must include the feasibility of requiring DSHS to bill private insurers for the cost of newborn screening kits and of requiring private insurers to automatically update their payment rates for the cost of newborn screening kits based on panel changes.

              Stakeholders may provide comments in person on July 12th or submit written comments until August 3, 2018. Stakeholders are encouraged to share this notice with colleagues and affiliated organizations, partners, and anyone who may be interested in this report.

              Written comments may be sent to:
              E-mail: NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.gov
              Fax: 512-776-7221 Attention: Newborn Screening
              Mail:
              Texas Department of State Health Services
              Newborn Screening Laboratory, MC 1947
              PO Box 149347
              Austin, TX 78714-9347

              Review the Stakeholder Meeting Agenda for details regarding meeting topics and comment opportunities.


              Laboratory Credit Card Payment

              We are pleased to announce that the Billing Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services has partnered with Texas.gov for online credit card payments. A fee will be charged to utilize this service. The fee for each transaction is $2.00, plus 2.25% of the total transaction amount.

              As of April 16th, 2018 please begin using the link below for all credit card payments:

              https://apps.portal.texas.gov/feepaylite/tx/dshs/laboratory

              The following information is required to complete the payment transaction:

              Cardholder Name (as it appears on the card)

              Address, City, State, Zip Code

              Card Type (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or AMEX)

              Credit Card Number

              Expiration Date

              Verification Code

              Charge Amount

              Account Number(s)

              posted Apr. 6, 2018


              Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory - Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, Austin TX

              Please complete the following survey. Your responses are very important as they help us improve our services.

              The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. 

              Please click “OK” to begin the survey.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FNWCGB6  

              Please complete the survey by March 14, 2018.

              If you have questions, contact the DSHS Laboratory at 512-776-7318. 

              Posted 02/16/18 


              Attention Quantiferon Screening Submitters

              CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR QUANTIFERON SCREENING KITS 

              Quantiferon Screening kits with a lot number 55706098 EXPIRED on December 31, 2017. 

              Specimens collected in expired tubes will be REJECTED. 

              Questions / Comments

              Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7661 or for local calls 512-776-7661

              Email: ContainerPrepGroup@dshs.texas.gov

              Posted 01/26/2018


              Important Notice:

              Please ensure that the Date of Collection on submission forms accurately reflects the new year to avoid possible specimen rejection for invalid information.

              For questions, contact Specimen Logistics by e-mail at mailto:ClinicalChemistry@dshs.texas.gov

              Posted 12/29/2017


              Laboratory Holiday Closure Notice: Christmas and New Year 2017

              Posted 12/8/2017 


              Laboratory Holiday Closure Notice: Thanksgiving 2017

              Posted Nov. 13, 2017


              Important Notice

              Information regarding Chagas Disease (American trypanosomiasis) specimen submission

              Guidance for submission of Chagas Disease specimens to CDC, through the DSHS Laboratory, is provided by the Zoonosis Control Branch.

              This includes testing acceptance criteria for both Serology and PCR in humans, and testing in bugs.  Call 512-776-2888.

              Posted Oct. 20, 2017


              Alert Regarding Microbiological Testing

              On Thursday, October 12, 2017, DSHS Laboratory experienced an incident with the Public Health Laboratory Information Management System.  Please be aware that this incident may create duplicate result reports.  Please use the most recent report for all inquiries with DSHS.  A formal letter with additional information will be sent out soon.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact DSHS Laboratory Reporting at 512-776-7578.

              Posted Oct. 13, 2017


              Hurricane Harvey Contingencies: Newborn Screening

              Important Actions:

              • For All Newborns in your care:
                • Collect 1st screens at 24-48 hours of age.
                • Collect 2nd screens at 7-14 days of age.
              • The 2nd screen may be the earliest opportunity to identify a newborn screening disorder.
                • If the 1st screen was missed, collect a specimen as soon as possible,
                • Collect the 2nd screen soon after 7 days of age.
              • Ensure the parent/guardian contact information will be valid throughout any potential family/baby relocation.
              • Ship specimens as soon as possible.
              • Ensure that newborn screening results are known, documented, and discussed with the family/caregiver.
              • Facilitate repeat or confirmatory testing, appropriate subspecialty referral and timely intervention if necessary
                Services:
              • The Texas Newborn Screening Program is fully operational and here to provide service and support.
              • Contact the DSHS Laboratory if you need specific help or have a suggestion on how DSHS can assist you with getting newborn screening specimens to the Laboratory. 

              Posted Sept 7, 2017


              Newborn Screening Guidance Following Hurricane Harvey

              If you are a heath care provider in an affected area and have suggestions for how DSHS can assist with getting newborn screening specimens to the Laboratory, please contact the Laboratory at NewbornScreeningLab@dshs.texas.govor call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333.

              As you continue to deal with the destruction and aftermath of the hurricane:

              • Know:
              • The Texas Newborn Screening Program is fully operational and here to provide service and support.
              • The US Postal Service and courier services have not been able to operate in certain areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

              Providers should continue to:

              • Collect and dry newborn screens within the appropriate time frames.
              • Ensure the parent/guardian contact information will be valid throughout any potential family/baby relocation.
              • Ship as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours after collection.
              • Contact courier directly for service information for your area
              • If courier services are interrupted, store the specimens at room temperature in a dry location.
              • Do not put specimens in air-tight sealed containers.
              • Ensure that newborn screening results are known, documented, and discussed with the family/caregiver.
              • Facilitate repeat or confirmatory testing, appropriate subspecialty referral and timely intervention if necessary.

              Preparation for Hurricane Harvey: DSHS Laboratory Specimen Handling 

              As Texas prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, the DSHS Laboratory has these tips for submitters to follow:

              1. Collect all specimens as usual.
              2. Expect delays from courier and postal services for areas that will be impacted by the hurricane, but ship as soon as possible
                • If you use courier services, contact them directly for additional information about your location
                • If courier/mail services are interrupted, store specimens to ensure they remain at the appropriate temperature and conditions until shipping/mailing.
                  • Freeze serum specimens after collection for glucose, cholesterol/HDL/lipid panel, creatinine, and HIV/syphilis. 
                  • Refrigerate whole blood specimens for lead and hemoglobin.
                  • Maintain newborn screening specimens in a dry location
                  • Rabies specimens should be kept refrigerated until shipping is available.
                  • Specimens for mycobacterial culture should be refrigerated until shipping is available.
              3. Anticipate loss of power and possible flooding. Prepare a backup storage method, especially for those specimens that require refrigeration and freezing.
              4. Expect a possible backlog for courier and postal services when they resume.  

              Posted Aug. 25, 2017


              Hurricane Harvey: Newborn Screening Guidance

              As you prepare for the weather, please remember:

              • Do Not Delay Newborn Screening Specimen Collection
                • Collect 1st screens at 24-48 hours of age
                • Collect 2nd screens at 7-14 days of age
              • Allow specimens to dry completely (3-4 hours)
              • Ensure the parent/guardian contact information will be valid throughout any potential family/baby relocation
              • Ship As Soon As Possible
                • If you use courier services, contact them directly for additional information about your location
                • If courier services are interrupted, store dried specimens at room temperature in a dry location
              • DO NOT put specimens in air-tight sealed containers
              • If a child has been transferred to another facility, include the newborn screening specimen collection status in the transfer documentation so that the receiving facility is aware if the specimen still needs to be collected.

              Posted Aug. 25, 2017


              2015 Expired Kit Notice:

              Newborn Screening kits with a serial number beginning with 15 (15-XXXXXXX) EXPIRE on September 19, 2017. Use ‘15 kits first to collect specimens before they are set to expire. Specimens Collected on ‘15 kits after September 19, 2017 will be REJECTED.

              Posted: August 10, 2017 


              DSHS Laboratory Now Offers Creatinine Testing

              Effective August 1, 2017, the Department of State Health Services Austin Laboratory began offering Creatinine testing for clients/patients receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  Serum specimens should be submitted at appropriate temperature to the DSHS Laboratory using an overnight courier with the G-1B specimen submission form with HIV/STD marked as the Payor Source.  See the DSHS Laboratory Testing Services Manual for further details on specimen collection, handling, and shipping at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/mrs_labtests_toc.shtm.  For questions related to shipping, contact Tammy.Foskey@dshs.texas.gov.

              Posted: August 2, 2017 


              DSHS Laboratory to Offer Creatinine Testing

              Effective August 1, 2017, the Department of State Health Services Austin Laboratory will begin offering Creatinine testing for clients/patients receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  Serum specimens should be submitted at appropriate temperature to the DSHS Laboratory using an overnight courier with the G-1B specimen submission form with HIV/STD marked as the Payor Source.  See the DSHS Laboratory Testing Services Manual for further details on specimen collection, handling, and shipping at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/mrs_labtests_toc.shtm.  For questions related to shipping, contact Tammy.Foskey@dshs.texas.gov.

              Posted: July 10, 2017 


               The DSHS Refugee Program will no longer cover laboratory testing services effective January 31, 2017  

              Effective February 1, 2017, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory submitters who submit laboratory testing requests using the DSHS Program Payor “Refugee” will be charged for the cost of the laboratory testing services.

              As a reminder: Please select the appropriate payor for the laboratory testing requested and provide all required information, as indicated on the laboratory submission forms:

              Biochemistry and Genetics Specimen Submission Form – Sample, revised 9/2016

              Serology Specimen Submission Form – Sample, revised 9/2016

              Bacteriology and Parasitology Specimen Submission Form – Sample, revised 9/2016

              Virology Specimen Submission Form – Sample, revised 7/2016

              Mycobacteriology/Mycology Specimen Submission Form – Sample, revised 9/2016

              The DSHS Laboratory accepts the following third party coverage: Traditional Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care, Fee for Service/Traditional Medicare, Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), and Commercial Insurance Plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield.  

              NOTE:  The DSHS Laboratory is not an in-network provider for Medicaid's Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Services for CHIP covered members should not be submitted to the DSHS Laboratory.

              Posted: January 3, 2017 


              Note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

              Last updated August 2, 2021