The scope of state newborn screening varies depending on which state you live in, however, all state newborn tests differ from Sema4 Natalis in four key ways:
Which conditions are screened
Most states screen for 34 medical conditions, known as the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (or RUSP). States may also test for additional conditions on a state-by-state basis. Sema4 Natalis is a more extensive newborn screen that can be performed in addition to state tests. It screens for every condition on the RUSP and all state panels, as well as 84 additional conditions that can benefit from early detection.
How samples are collected
State newborn screening requires a heel prick to collect blood for analysis. This is usually performed by a doctor or nurse at a hospital shortly after birth. If you choose to have Natalis shipped to your home you will use a gentle cheek swab to collect a DNA sample. If you choose to order Natalis through your child’s pediatrician there are multiple options for sample collection.
How the test is analyzed
State newborn screening primarily uses biochemical analysis to look at analytes and markers in the blood. Sema4 Natalis is a genetic test that analyzes DNA to check for variants, or changes, that may cause certain diseases. Because many diseases can’t be detected via biochemical blood analysis, Sema4 Natalis is able to screen for a wider range of conditions than current state newborn screening.
How the cost of the test is covered
State newborn screening is a public health service offered to every child, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The cost of state newborn screening is typically covered by insurance or other healthcare programs. Sema4 Natalis is an optional screening that you may order if you would like more comprehensive testing for your child. Because it is an elective test, the cost of Sema4 Natalis is paid for out-of-pocket.