Mumps IgM Antibody test to be discontinued December 1, 2015
Effective Dec. 1, 2015, the Mumps IgM Antibody test will no longer be offered at the DSHS Laboratory due to unavailability of reagents; however, the Laboratory will continue to offer Mumps IgG Antibody and Mumps PCR testing. Please refer to our Laboratory Testing Services Manual for appropriate specimen types and shipping conditions.
2015 Thanksgiving Closure/Testing Reminders
Notice to all submitters who receive faxed report results
Effective August 24, 2015, the DSHS Laboratory upgraded the Public Health Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). This upgrade changes the method for how reports are faxed to submitters. Previously, each submitter would receive one cover sheet followed directly by multiple reports. For the new LIMs, each faxed report will begin with a separate coversheet followed by a single independent report. This change will apply to all providers who receive single and multiple reports via fax.
If you have questions about reports please call 512-776-6275.
Revised specimen submission forms are now available – click here to read the notice letter.
Revised laboratory fee schedules, effective September 1, 2015, are now available.
To view the current Austin Laboratory and South Texas Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/fees.shtm
New Options for Receiving Rabies Test Results
The Laboratory Services Section (LSS) can now offer you the opportunity of receiving all rabies test reports (positive, non-negative, or negative) via Fax or through the LSS Results-Web Portal as soon as the test result reports are completed!
The LSS will continue to telephone you with all positive and non-negative test results. However, as of September 1, 2015, the LSS will no longer call you with negative test results. These results will only be available via mail, fax, or web portal.
It is very simple for you to take advantage of the new reporting options.
If you have questions, please contact Tiffunee Odoms at 512-776-6275.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section (LSS) is in the process of revising rules concerning laboratory testing and fees for some laboratory services. These revisions will take effect September 1, 2015.
The following revision has been made to the Austin DSHS Laboratory test menu, effective September 1, 2015:
- New test added: Emerging Disease PCR
Also, the Austin DSHS Laboratory plans to add Cyclospora Identification (PCR) and Respiratory Viral Panel (PCR) to our test menu this year. No changes have been made to the South Texas DSHS Laboratory test menu.
The new fee schedule for the Austin Laboratory will be posted to the DSHS Laboratory website by August 31, 2015. To view the current Austin Laboratory and South Texas Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/fees.shtm
As with previous fee revisions, additional information regarding changes to existing laboratory forms or processes will be provided as the new fees are implemented.
Required fields for each laboratory specimen submission form are clearly marked with a double asterisk ** and/or the word “REQUIRED.” Failure to complete all required fields may result in the submitter being billed for the testing service, regardless of the payor selected.
The DSHS Laboratories will accept ICD-9 coding through September 30, 2015; however, effective October 1, 2015, submitters must provide the appropriate ICD-10 code for the testing services requested. As a reminder, diagnosis coding (ICD-9/ICD-10) is not applicable to non-human specimen testing.
The DSHS published proposed rules changes to the Texas Administrative Code that impacts testing and associated fees. The 30 day public comments period opened May 22. All comments should be sent to Amy Schlabach at Amy.Schlabach@dshs.state.tx.us or (512) 776-6191. See the Laboratory Rules page for additional information.
DSHS Austin Laboratory Scheduled Power Outage (PDF 107kb)
Effective March 1, 2015, revisions to the instructions for the G-1B specimen submission form have been made. No changes have been made to the G-1B specimen submission form. To view the updated instructions, visit the DSHS Laboratory website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/mrs_forms.shtm, scroll down to "Test Request Form Samples", and click on Form # G-1B. For questions, contact Susan Hoffpauir at 512-776-6030 or email@example.com.
As of April 1st, 2015, the Viral Isolation Team will no longer perform viral isolation using cell culture methods on measles, mumps, or rubella specimens. Specimens submitted for measles and mumps testing will be tested by rRT-PCR, and specimens submitted for rubella will be forwarded on to CDC for testing. In addition, any specimens that are positive for measles or mumps will be forwarded on to CDC for further characterization/genotyping. Specimens that do not meet DSHS criteria for testing may be forwarded on to CDC upon approval. Please contact (512)-776-7594 if you have any questions regarding specimen submission for measles, mumps, or rubella.
2014 Holiday Closure/Testing Reminders (Word 41kb)
Effective immediately, Toxoplasma and Bartonella IgG Antibody tests will no longer be offered at the DSHS Laboratory due to unavailability of reagents. You can contact commercial laboratories for Toxoplasma and Bartonella antibody testing, if needed.
2014 Thanksgiving Closure/Testing Reminders (Word 65kb)
The Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory Services Section, located in Austin, is conducting an annual customer satisfaction survey in an effort to improve services. Your responses are very important to us. Please complete our survey, by November 21, 2014, to help us determine how well we meet your needs. Your answers will help us to address any issues that you may have as well as to improve our services. Click here to complete the survey: http://2014dshslaboratorysurvey.questionpro.com/.
Revised specimen submission forms – click here to read the notice letter.
Fee revisions will take effect September 1, 2014, and will include the discontinuation of some low volume tests, addition of new tests, renaming of some tests to more accurately reflect the actual procedure, and adjustment of some test pricing, as applicable.
Changes to Newborn Screening Result Reporting Statements (PDF 188kb)
2013 Holiday Instructions for Mailing Clinical Chemistry Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory (PDF 40kb)
The DSHS Laboratory has implemented the HIV confirmatory testing using the Multispot HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Test, effective October 1, 2013. HIV-1 Western Blot (WB) for serum samples will not be performed for HIV-1 confirmation and will be available for reference testing purposes only.
HIV confirmatory testing using the multispot methodology will not go into effect September 1, 2013, as previously communicated with submitters. The DSHS Laboratory will continue to use the Western Blot for confirmatory testing until the mulitspot testing is ready, with implementation anticipated by October 1, 2013.
The DSHS Laboratory has extended the deadline for completing the annual customer satisfaction survey. We ask that you please complete the survey, by October 15, 2013.
Click here to read a billing update on a DSHS Laboratory notice from April 2013, regarding an issue which may have impacted certain charges for testing. The types of testing affected were for potable water testing and microbiological testing (e.g., bacteriology, serology, virology, TB, and parasitology). Newborn screening, clinical chemistry and environmental testing were not affected.
Beginning September 1, 2013, important changes will be made that will impact testing, fees associated with testing and laboratory reporting. For more detailed information regarding these changes, please visit http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/newRules.html.
Revised specimen submission forms – click here to read the notice letter.
The DSHS Laboratory Services Section (LSS) is in the process of revising rules concerning laboratory testing and fees for some laboratory services. These revisions will take effect September 1, 2013 and will include the discontinuation of some low volume tests, addition of new tests, renaming of some tests to more accurately reflect the actual procedure, and adjustment of some test pricing, as applicable.
The DSHS published proposed rules changes to the Texas Administrative Code that impacts testing and associated fees. The 30 day public comments period opened June 15. All comments should be sent to Amy Schlabach at Amy.Schalabch@dshs.state.tx.us or (512) 776-6191. See the Laboratory Rules page for additional information.
Effective, September 01, 2013, Title V fee-for-service (FFS) contractors may send Title V laboratory testing specimens to the laboratory of the contractors’ choice. FFS contractors will no longer be required to submit covered Title V laboratory testing to the DSHS Laboratories (PDF 73kb).
The Texas Department of State Health Services, in conjunction with the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is celebrating 50 years of Newborn Screening in the United States. A traveling display highlighting the major accomplishments of Newborn Screening will be in Texas May 13-May 24, 2013. DSHS is sponsoring two events to commemorate the occasion.
The Laboratory Services Section has revised the G-1B, G-THSTEPS, G-2A, G-2B and G-22 specimen submission forms, effective November 2012. A new specimen submission form, G-MYCO, has been created for mycobateriology/mycology specimens.
Revised F40-A and F40-B Specimen Submission Forms
Revised Laboratory Fee Schedule:
Update on revised Laboratory Fee Schedule and changes to the menu of tests (PDF 984kb).
The Newborn Screening Voice Response System (VRS) will be permanently shut down as of September 1, 2012 (PDF 98kb).
Effective August 31, 2012, the Women’s Health Laboratory (WHL) in San Antonio will be closed. Former customers of WHL are asked to contact the main Austin DSHS Laboratory for data related to testing performed by WHL, including previously released test results and result reports. The Main Austin DSHS Laboratory number is phone (512) 776-7318 and toll free (888) 963-7111, ext. 7318.
Questions regarding WHL laboratory customer accounts and/or bills related to WHL testing services may be directed to the DSHS Billing Branch: by phone (512) 776-7317 and toll free (888) 963-7111, ext. 7317 (Customers will be directed to leave your name, account number and phone number for a representative to return your call); by fax to (512) 776-7588; or by email LabAR@dshs.state.tx.us. All calls, faxes and emails will be responded to within three working days of receipt.
Notice of new resources on the Newborn Screening Laboratory website (PDF 88kb).
Revised G-THSTEPS Specimen Submission Form
Texas Health Steps (THSTEPS) testing and supply changes (PDF 63kb)
WHL is closing and will no longer be accepting specimens as of August 9, 2012 (PDF 812kb).
After hours receipt of samples is temporarily unavailable. All packages transported through a courier (FedEx, UPS, LoneStar Overnight) will be accepted during regular business hours. Specimens submitted to Greyhound Bus Station-Austin will be picked up by laboratory staff as usual. Hand-delivered samples will be accepted only during regular business hours Monday - Friday (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) until further notice. If you have questions concerning this issue, please call (512) 776-7598.
Expired Test Kits Notice (PDF 65kb)
The proposed rules concerning laboratory fees that will be presented at the February 23, 2012 DSHS Council meeting are available for your review here: Proposed Preamble and Rule Text. The Council meeting is an open meeting under Texas law, and the Council will allow interested members of the public to speak before the Council votes on whether to recommend to the HHSC executive commissioner that the rules be proposed in the Texas Register. Information about the DSHS Council meetings is available at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/council/default.shtm. If the proposed amendments are published in the Texas Register, there will be an official 30-day public comment period during which DSHS will accept written comments regarding the proposed rule changes
Revised rules concerning fees for laboratory services (PDF 132kb)
Newborn Screening Healthcare Provider Requirements regarding the Use and Storage of Newborn Screening Blood Spot Cards
Notice of upcoming changes to the WHL specimen submission process
Revised M-47 Specimen Submission Form
Revised G-1B, G-2A, G-2B, and G-THSTEPS Specimen Submission Forms
Submitters, please take five minutes to help us improve our DSHS Laboratory services in Austin, Texas by completing this Laboratory survey (link expired). Available until August 1, 2011.
The DSHS Laboratory will no longer accept serum specimens that have been collected in serum separator tubes (SST) and frozen
Important update for customers using FedEx for Dangerous Goods shipping (PDF 33kb)
2010 Holiday Instructions for Mailing Clinical Chemistry Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory (PDF 24kb)
Testing is now reinstated for the Coxiella burnetii (Q-Fever) Antibody IgG test at the DSHS Laboratory. For more information, please view the Serology Specimen Acceptance Criteria (PDF 85k) or contact Eleanor Williams via email or phone at 512-458-7514 (888-963-7111, ext. 7514 toll free).
The DSHS Laboratory will no longer offer Triple Screen testing
Learn about and complete the Laboratory Client Satisfaction Survey (link expired), for those who submit specimens to the Laboratory.
Notice to Newborn Screening Customers regarding types of screening kits (NBS3 and NBS4)
Revised G-1B, G-2A, G-2B, and new G-THSTEPS Specimen Submission Forms
New requirements for submitting triple screen specimens
Change in Policy on Accepting Payment for Specimens/Samples submitted after 5:00pm (PDF 25kb)
Acceptance/rejection criteria for Water Bacteriology tests
Newborn Screening Fee Increase and Cystic Fibrosis
DSHS Begins Screening Newborns for Cystic Fibrosis - En español
2009 Holiday Instructions for Mailing Clinical Chemistry Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory (PDF 25kb)
Effective immediately, Coxiella burnetii (Q-Fever) Antibody IgG test is temporarily suspended at the DSHS Laboratory due to unavailability of reagents for testing. Please contact a commercial reference laboratory for Q-Fever testing, if needed. We will reinstate testing as soon as we are able to obtain new reagents for this test.
View the newest issue of our quarterly newsletter and sign up for email updates online - The Laboratorian: News from the DSHS Laboratory
New guidelines for laboratory testing protocol for the surveillance of Novel H1N1 Influenza and Seasonal Influenza (PDF 182kb).
Click here to view the web version.
New Requirements for Physicians or Persons Attending the Birth of a Newborn
- Starter Label Set and Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ web page
- Submitter Requirements - NBS Sample Usage Packet (PDF 110kb), includes:
- Brief summary of new legislation (HB 1672) including healthcare provider responsibilities
- Laboratory interim and long term plan to address the new legislation
- Example of specimen demographic form with provisional sticker placement
- New form “Use and Storage of Newborn Screening Bloodspot Cards” in English and Spanish
View our newsletter and sign up for email updates online - The Laboratorian: News from the DSHS Laboratory
Understanding Swine Influenza Kit Test Results
- Fact Sheets for Patients:
- Fact Sheets for Healthcare Providers:
DSHS Laboratory Services Section reminds everyone who submits blood specimens in serum separator tubes to adhere to manufacturer’s instructions, including proper collection, volume requirement, and centrifugation to insure complete separation of serum before shipping for testing.
As of January 1, 2009, the S3620 code is again a recognized payable Newborn Screening billing code for TRICARE beneficiaries. Click here for a printable notice with details. (PDF 34kb)
Starting March 2, 2009, specimens collected in expired tubes will be rejected. Please look through your stock, note expiration dates, and discard any expired stock. For any questions or to place an order for new stock, please call (512) 458-7661 or fax your request to (512) 458-7672. Click here for a printable version of this notice. (PDF 32kb)
Change in criteria for specimens submitted for syphilis (RPR and TPPA), HIV, and Hepatitis C testing.
Click here to access the Serum Specimen Criteria information page.
- Non-THSteps Submitters:
- THSteps Submitters:
Bordetella pertussis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) specimen acceptance/rejection criteria
EHEC EIA for the detection of Shigatoxin acceptance/rejection criteria
Clinical viral specimen acceptance/rejection criteria
DSHS Results-Web Portal
Revised G-1B, G-1C, G-2A, G-2B, F40-A, and F40-B Specimen Submission Forms
2008 NBS Remote Data Pilot Project letter, security forms, and availability request:
Revised G-1B and F40 Specimen Submission Forms
Notices of conversion from COHORT to LabWare, beginning late March 2008:
Survey: Newborn Screening (NBS) HL7 Data Transfer Capability
Effective 02/08/08 - 09/01/08
New Serology Specimen Acceptance Criteria (PDF 85k)
Holiday Instructions: Mailing Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory
Revised Hepatitis and Rubella specimen acceptance/rejection criteriara
Specimens for lead and total hemoglobin testing must be received within 10 days of collection
Notices of revised testing fee schedule, effective 09/01/07:
Specimen acceptance/rejection guidelines for submission of Arbovirus serology specimens
New requirements for packaging and shipping rabies specimens
The cost of a newborn screening specimen kit is set to increase
South Texas Laboratory (STL) will be changing the F40-11036 specimen submission form
Specimen submission forms to include the new National Provider Identifier (NPI)
Proposed amendments to existing rules concerning Newborn Screening (NBS)
New specimen acceptance criteria for Mycobacteria cultures
New specimen acceptance criteria for Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HDN) testing
New specimen acceptance criteria for RPR testing
Acceptance/Rejection Criteria for Prenatal Triple Screen specimens
Shipping Changes for Cholesterol, Lipid profile, and Glucose Specimens
Stakeholder feedback requested on impact of increasing maximum cap on Lab fees
Acceptance/Rejection Criteria for CSF specimen testing
Shipping Changes for Cholesterol, Lipid profile, and Glucose Specimens
New specimen submission forms: G-1B, G-1C, G-2A, & G-2B
Acceptance/Rejection Criteria for Clinical Chemistry Testing
"Date of Collection" Required on all Specimen Submission Forms
"Payor Source" Billing Changes
Acceptance/rejection guidelines for the culture of mycobacteria from blood specimens
Specimen acceptance/rejection guidelines for selected tests
Note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.