Governor Susana Martinez signed House Bill 9 into law at the Lovelace Regional Hospital in Roswell. This legislation requires non-invasive testing for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) in newborn infants.
"I am proud to sign this legislation today," said Governor Martinez. "By adding testing for CCHD to the newborn screening panel, more New Mexico babies will grow up to live happier, healthier lives with their families."
Under this law, hospitals statewide will screen newborn infants for CCHD using a non-invasive instrument called a pulse oximeter, which uses a sensor placed on the skin to identify the pulse rate, as well as low levels of oxygen in the blood, a sign of CCHD. This technology is the most effective way to detect serious health problems in otherwise well-appearing newborns. If the baby screens positive for oxygen levels that are too low, further testing can be done, such as an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound picture of the heart.
This legislation, sponsored by Representative Nora Espinoza (R-Roswell), passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support. "This non-invasive addition to newborn screening is an important step in continuing to build healthier communities and families, and I am grateful that this measure received such strong support amongst my colleagues in the Legislature. We are happy to have Governor Martinez here in our community to sign the bill," said Representative Espinoza.
March of Dimes New Mexico State Director Becky Horner also praised this legislation, saying, "We are proud of Governor Martinez and New Mexico legislators for supporting newborn screening and for ensuring that every baby be given the best chance at a healthy start in life." March of Dimes, a non-profit organization that works to improve the health of women of childbearing age, infants and children by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, has been instrumental in expanding newborn screening.
Governor Martinez also signed House Bill 126, the Pharmacy Benefits Manager Regulation Act. This legislation requires any person acting as a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) to be licensed by the Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI).