Inspired by the success of Project Baby Bear, other states have followed with their own programs to publicly fund rapid Whole Genome Sequencing for infants.
A pilot initiative led by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and funded by a Florida State Appropriation, Project Baby Manatee assessed the impact of providing rapid whole genome sequencing for critically ill infants and children with unknown illnesses, receiving care in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit.
Through Project Baby Manatee, 60 babies from low-income families gained access to rWGS. The pilot program resulted in estimated savings of more than $3.76 million, yielding an estimated $2.88 million return on investment, by enabling care teams to quickly address each child’s specific care needs, minimizing expenditures on additional testing and unproductive treatments.
Florida now covers rWGS for critically ill infants and children under the state Medicaid program. The program will cover infants and children up to age 20 who are admitted to an intensive care unit or high acuity pediatric unit meeting clinical criteria. Learn more about SB2500.