In California, a newborn screening specimen must be collected within 12 to 48 hours of birth, with 24 hours of life being the optimal time for collection. A general overview video (not California-specific) on newborn screening blood spot collection is below.
Test Request Form (TRF)
A complete Test Request Form (TRF) is needed for every California birth, whether performed at home or at a freestanding birth center. Newborn screening documentation using the TRF must be completed within 12 to 48 hours of birth. All birth attendants should keep the TRF's yellow copy and provide the TRF's pink/blue copy to the family. The family will use the pink/blue copy to help the pediatrician get the results and use the copy for registering the birth.
Please make sure to follow the instructions outlined in the Newborn Screening Program Collection Poster (PDF) and communicate the importance of this form with the child's parents.
Shipping your newborn screening specimens to the processing laboratory
Online specimen tracking
Online specimen tracking (OST) is a way for you to track and make sure the specimens you have collected and sent to the processing laboratory have been received. You can go online within 7 days after shipping your specimen(s). This is an important measure to make sure the specimen(s) are
not lost and thus prevent any delays in getting results.
Request OST training for yourself or any a new provider by emailing this address:
Please visit our
NBS Program Online Specimen Tracking web page to find out more about OST.
Billing and payment for newborn screening
After the newborn screening specimen has been processed, the parents will be sent an invoice for the test along with a form for their insurance information. By filling out and sending back the insurance form, the California Newborn Screening Program will bill the parents' insurance directly for the screening.
The parents will always have the choice of paying the invoice themselves as well if they do not wish to use their insurance as a payor for the screening.
For invoice payment and billing Information and the current Newborn Screening Program fee, please see the
NBS Program Billing and Payment FAQ web page.