SB 68: "An Act relating to newborn hearing screening."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 68 01 "An Act relating to newborn hearing screening." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. AS 47.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 04 Sec. 47.20.095. Newborn hearing screening. (a) The physician in 05 attendance at or immediately after the birth of a child in a hospital in this state, or, if a 06 physician is not in attendance at or immediately after the birth, the person attending 07 the newborn child in a hospital in this state, shall, unless medically contraindicated, 08 cause the child to be tested to determine whether the child has a potential hearing 09 impairment using the methods determined by the department under (c) of this section. 10 Unless medically contraindicated, the screening shall occur before the newborn is 11 released from the hospital or before the infant is 30 days old, whichever is earlier. 12 Each birthing center that provides maternity and newborn care services shall provide 13 that each newborn in the center's care is referred for an appointment to a licensed 14 audiologist or to a hospital or other newborn hearing screening provider before 15 discharge. Unless medically contraindicated, the screening shall occur before the
01 infant is 30 days old. 02 (b) If it is determined by testing that a newborn child may have a hearing 03 impairment, the physician or other person who is required under (a) of this section to 04 cause the child to be tested shall 05 (1) refer the child for confirmatory testing; and 06 (2) make reasonable efforts to promptly notify the child's parent that 07 the child may have a hearing impairment and explain to the parent the potential effect 08 of the impairment on the development of the child's speech and language skills. 09 (c) The hearing testing required under this section shall use protocols 10 established by the department. At a minimum, the protocols must include the use of at 11 least one of the following physiologic technologies: automated or diagnostic auditory 12 brainstem response (ABR) or otoacoustic emissions (OAE). The department shall 13 consider updating the protocols as information is provided to the department that new 14 physiologic technologies or improvements to existing physiologic technologies will 15 substantially enhance newborn and infant hearing assessment.