(b) In 1985, the birth scoring system, a cooperative effort between the division of health and the West Virginia university department of pediatrics was initiated. The goals of the scoring system were: (1) To identify newborns at greatest risk for death between one month and one year of age; and (2) to link high risk infants with physicians for close follow-up during the first year of life.
(c) Since its inception, the birth scoring system has been expanded to identify and link infants at risk for debilitating conditions and developmental delays with necessary and available services. The program has been greatly successful in identifying at-risk newborns and in obtaining appropriate medical care for those infants.
(d) With the success of the birth scoring system at reducing postneonatal mortality rates in the state, it is the intention of the Legislature to establish the birth score system as a universal, preventive program to be enacted at the delivery of each newborn in the state. The purpose of this article is to ensure that all of the state's birthing hospitals and facilities adopt and implement this prevention program.
(b) The purpose and goals of the birth score program are to reduce the incidence of postneonatal mortality and disease by:
(1) Identifying newborns at greatest risk for death between one month and one year of age; and
(2) Linking these infants with physicians for close follow-up during the first year of life.
(c) The birth score of a newborn infant shall be determined pursuant to the program established by the division of health by trained hospital or birthing facility personnel immediately after the infant is delivered.
(b) When any infant receives a high risk birth score, as determined by the program established by this article, the parents shall be informed of the birth score and its implications, and then linked with a local primary care physician for a recommended six visits in the first six months of the infant's life.
(c) The division of health, in cooperation with other state departments and agencies, may provide necessary medical and other referrals for services related to infants determined to be at high risk for postneonatal mortality and other debilitating conditions and developmental delays.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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