Newborn Hearing Screening

  • nbhearingscreening.jpg Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) is dedicated to ensuring that newborns and young children with hearing loss are identified as early as possible. Our goal is to provide appropriate intervention services in order to prevent delays in communication and cognitive skill development.

    Texas newborn hearing screening was established in 1999 through the passage of House Bill 714 and is being implemented in Texas birthing facilities. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the oversight state agency.

    Goals

    • attempt to test all newborns shortly after birth
    • identify those with hearing loss as early as possible so intervention can be provided
    • complete more testing to determine the type and degree of hearing loss
    • strive to provide intervention services before 6 months of age in order to reduce the long term effects of hearing loss on development

    What is it?

    • 10-12 hours after birth, typically, infants are screened for hearing loss using Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing OR Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) testing
    • both tests:
      • are quick
        • ABR testing takes 10-15 minutes
        • OAE testing takes 5-10 minutes
      • do not cause discomfort
      • can be done while the baby is sleeping

    Texas Department of State Health Services program for Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) provides resources for parents. The site includes publications and answers to frequently asked questions, including:

    • Why screen hearing?
    • Does Texas have a hearing screening law?
    • Is the hearing screening paid for in Texas?
    • How are babies screened?

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides Just in Time for Families,pdf icon  an overview of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) process, including risk factors, communication choices, and early intervention.

    The National Center for Hearing and Assessment Management (NCHAM) provides a downloadable e-book, A Resource Guide for Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI)

    Texas Law

    Newborn Hearing Screening statute states that:

    • effective September 1, 1999, the following must provide newborn hearing screening:
      • hospitals in counties with more than 50,000 residents
      • birthing centers in counties with more than 50,000 residents and 100 births a year
      • exceptions: Newborn Hearing Screening Rules: Chapter 37 of the Texas Administrative Code §37.501 through §37.507
        • home births and midwives
        • military facilities
        • hospitals and birthing centers in counties with less than 50,000 residents

    The National Center for Hearing and Assessment Management (NCHAM) provides excerpts from legislation, rules, and regulations for requirements in Texas. These excerpts include guidance on:

    • who is required to do the screenings
    • inclusion of newborn hearing screenings as a covered health insurance benefit
    • who results are reported to
    • provision of educational materials
    • informed consent by parents
    • hearing loss defined as recognized by the state of Texas

    How much does it cost?

    • paid for by Medicaid
    • paid for by insurance companies that cover the costs of screenings at birth
    • any additional hearing testing is also paid for by both until the baby is 24 months old
    • Information on TEHDI

    The National Center for Hearing and Assessment Management (NCHAM) provides excerpts from legislation, rules, and regulations for requirements in Texas. These excerpts include guidance on:

    • who is required to do the screenings
    • inclusion of newborn hearing screenings as a covered health insurance benefit
    • who results are reported to
    • provision of educational materials
    • informed consent by parents
    • hearing loss defined as recognized by the state of Texas

    Information for Families  

    Giving Your Baby a Sound Beginning video icon  is a video for parents from The National Center for Hearing and Assessment Management (NCHAM) that provides a brief explanation of why hospitals are doing newborn hearing screenings.

    "Loss & Foundvideo icon is a video created by Hands & Voices for parents whose children do not pass the newborn hearing screening.

    Colorado Hands & Voices developed the interactive Colorado Roadmap for Families to support families as they navigate their way through the hearing screening process. The information, resources, and guidance provided are applicable to all families, even though it does include some Colorado specific information and resources.

    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) created a parent information handoutpdf icon

    Reporting to TEHDI

    The Texas Department of State Health Services and TEHDI provide reporting requirements to the statewide system for all hearing screening service providers.

    For information on how to obtain a user name, password and schedule system training, call Oz Systems at (866) 427-5768. Then select option 3.

    DSHS and its contractor, OZ Systems, are committed to providing the guidance and advice needed to help all facilities achieve required certification criteria and performance standards.

    For More Information

    Texas Department of State Health Services
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347 MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9909
    Phone: 1-800-252-8023, ask for extension 7726
    (Use relay option of your choice if needed.)
    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Email: tehdi@dshs.state.tx.us