New law expands newborn blood testing in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Babies born in North Carolina will now be tested for another serious condition that if caught early can be treated with a high survival rate.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Monday a measure that adds tests for severe combined immunodeficiency to newborn screenings performed with a blood sample taken after birth. The law is named for Carlie Nugent of Harrisburg, who died at age 7 months from complications associated with what is sometimes known as “bubble boy disease.”

The state budget law increased the screening fee from $19 to $24 to help pay for expanded testing. There’s also $440,000 in the budget to buy equipment and supplies for the new test.

The state health department says insurance covers the fee as part of newborn delivery services.

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