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Synopsis of Senate Committee Amendments

Legislative Service Commission



Sub. H.B. 150
124th General Assembly
(S. Health, Human Services, and Aging)


Amendments adopted by the Senate Committee do all of the following:

Clarify that the hospitals subject to the hearing screening requirement are those with maternity units or newborn nurseries.

Limit the screening requirement to newborns and infants born in a hospital or freestanding birthing center.

Provide for the hearing screening of a newborn or infant transferred to another facility to be conducted when the screening is medically appropriate.

Specify that a hearing screening must be performed under the direction of a physician or audiologist or in collaboration with a physician.

Require hospitals to comply with the new screening requirements by no later than June 30, 2004, and allow the Director of Health to grant an extension of up to one year to a facility that demonstrates justifiable cause for the noncompliance.

Clarify that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers not yet required to comply with the new hearing screening requirements must continue to comply with the risk screening requirements presently in effect and that once in compliance with the new requirements a hospital or freestanding birthing center may discontinue compliance with the current risk screening requirements.

Require the Department of Health to provide to boards of health the information on hearing screenings and hearing loss that it is required to provide to hospitals under current law.

Require boards of health to provide information on hearing screenings and hearing loss received from the Department of Health to parents, guardians, and custodians of newborns not born in a hospital or freestanding birthing center.

Remove the requirement that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers provide a list of facilities that provide hearing evaluations to parents, guardians, and custodians of newborns and infants who do not pass the hearing screening and the corresponding requirement that hospitals report the number of newborns and infants whose parents, guardians, or custodians received this list.

Require hospitals that receive by transfer infants who have not received hearing screenings to comply with the bill's reporting requirements.

Remove a requirement that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers report the number of transferred newborns whose parents, guardians, or custodians received the information that must be distributed on hearing loss and hearing screenings.

Remove a requirement that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers submit hearing screening information to the Department of Health annually and require that the Department notify each hospital and freestanding birthing center of the date by which the first report must be submitted.

Require the Public Health Council to adopt rules that specify an inexpensive and efficient format for the submission of hearing screening data to the Department of Health.

Require the Department of Health to develop a mechanism to analyze information reported under the newborn hearing screening program and provide that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers are not required to begin submitting the reports until the mechanism is in place.

Prohibit the Public Health Council from making rules that specify particular equipment or a particular type of equipment that must be used for hearing screening.

Require the Public Health Council to provide rules for situations in which a parent or guardian objects to a screening for reasons other than religious tenets and practices.

Require the Department of Health to adopt rules for training methods and prohibit the rules from establishing a minimum educational requirement for people conducting hearing screenings.

Require the Public Health Council to consider cost saving training methods in adopting training standards.

Remove a requirement that hospitals and freestanding birthing centers inform a parent, guardian, or custodian of a newborn or infant of the results of a hearing screening, but retain the duty to notify the attending physician.

Provide that hospitals or facilities that perform a hearing evaluation on a newborn or infant must report the results only to the attending physician.

Require the Department of Health to conduct timely reviews of hearing screening information submissions.

Permit the Department of Health to provide information on grant opportunities and loans, to purchase equipment in mass quantities, and to establish a grant system to assist with the acquisition of hearing screening equipment.

Permit up to $75 of the $500 in coverage for child health supervision services that must be included in certain sickness and accident insurance policies and employee benefits plans to be used for the hearing screening under the newborn hearing screening program.

Clarify provision concerning the confidentiality of patient-identifying information to provide that the Department of Health may provide patient-identifying information to necessary entities to implement the state tracking and intervention program required by the bill.





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