Neb. bill would require heart tests for newborns

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require hospitals to screen newborns for congenital heart disease.

Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion introduced a bill on Tuesday that would add the screenings to the list of routine tests that hospitals conduct on children after they're born.

Smith says he submitted the bill after he was contacted by a constituent, a mother whose child was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. He says the test costs relatively little, and it helps avoid costly medical complications for children later in life.

Smith says six states have either adopted the screenings for newborns, or are in the process of doing so.

The bill would direct the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to approve a system for testing the children.

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