Implementation of Laws on
Screening for Acanthosis Nigricans
Q1. I have heard that our school district is now required to do Acanthosis Nigricans screening, but we have not received notification, information or training opportunities from the TexasDeparment of State Health Services. Please explain.
A1. The initial Acanthosis Nigricans screening bill was signed into law during the 2001 legislative session. This law involved screening in only Texas Education Agency’s Education Service Center (ESC) Regions: 1, 2, 3, 13, 15, 18, 19 & 20. During the most recent legislative session, three ESC regions, 4, 10 and 11, were added. Although this law appears as part of the Health and Safety Code, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was not assigned authority or responsibility for the screening program.
Q2. Where can I get a copy of the law?
A2. To read the law, please go to: www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.95.htm#95.002.
Q3. Which individuals are to be screened for Acanthosis Nigricans under this law?
A3. Students attending public and private schools in TEA Education Service Center Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19 and 20.
Q4. Who is responsible for implementing this law?
A4. The Border Health Office at the University of Texas-Pan American is identified in the legislation as being the responsible party, with the Executive Council that advises them being responsible for rule-making. Their Website is - www.panam.edu/dept/tmbhco.
Q5. What grade level of students are to be screened?
A5. The law does not specify grade levels, but does indicate that the screening be performed at the same time hearing and vision screening or spinal screening is performed. Please see the response to the question above and contact the University of Texas-Pan American, Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office for more information pertaining to the appropriate ages and grade levels to screen.
Q6. What is DSHS’s role with implementation of this law?
A6. The DSHS School Health Program staff continues to receive questions about this requirement, particularly in regard to certification, enforcement and age and grade levels of children who must be screened. Because DSHS does not oversee this screening initiative, it would be inappropriate for the department to communicate directives regarding how this must be implemented.
Q7. Does the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a position on Acanthosis Nigricans screening?
A7. Yes. Comments on the CDC position statement regarding Acanthosis Nigricans, specifically concerning screening in schools and community settings, can be found in a Border Health statement response to CDC position statement at http://www.utpa.edu/dept/tmbhco/tmbhco/response.htm.
Q8. Where do I go for more implementation information?
A8. Direct your inquiries to:
Border Health office
The University of Texas - Pan American
The University of Texas System
1201 West University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78539-2999
Telephone: (956) 665-8900
External email links are provided to you as a courtesy. Please be advised that you are not emailing the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and DSHS policies do not apply should you choose to correspond.
External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to persons with disabilities.
Last Updated March 31, 2005