OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a new law Monday to update the state’s list of newborn screening conditions to match the federal recommendations.

The federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) currently includes 61 conditions, but each state decides which to include in their newborn screening program.

Currently, Oklahoma only screens for 57 of 61 federally recommended medical conditions.

“With many medical conditions, early detection is absolutely crucial to getting proper treatment to prevent future complications and medical problems,” Hicks said. “Newborn screenings are our best weapon in detecting and treating these conditions to help improve the lives of Oklahomans.”

Senate Bill 1464, authored by Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Judd Strom, R-Copan, requires the Oklahoma State Health Department’s (OSDH) screening list to be updated regularly to match the federal RUSP.

“Updating medical screenings for newborns in Oklahoma to match the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel used federally will help provide early treatment and management opportunities that might not otherwise be available,” Strom said. “These screenings can help prevent possible disabilities and reduce infant mortality rates, while also helping parents prepare for any health issues their baby might have. I’m glad Governor Stitt signed this bipartisan, common sense legislation.”

Hicks says the bill was requested by Colin McEwen, who has a condition called Acute Hepatic Porhyria that could have been identified at birth through newborn screening, but since it wasn’t, has led to years of misdiagnosis and extremely high healthcare costs.

“Colin’s story is not unique, but no one should have to suffer like this because our state isn’t conducting all of the available screenings,” said Hicks. “I want to thank Colin for sharing his story and bringing this critical issue to the Legislature’s attention, and for Women in Government and the EveryLife Foundation for their assistance in crafting this important healthcare measure that will protect future Oklahomans.”

The bill will go into effect on November 1, 2024.