Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

The Pennsylvania Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health seeks to ensure 
that all babies:

  • receive a hearing screening test no later than one month of age to determine possible hearing loss;
  • receive diagnostic testing no later than 3 months of age to determine the type and degree of hearing loss;
  • receive prescribed treatment or intervention services no later than 6 months of age

 

These standards are consistent with The Infant Hearing Education, Assessment, Reporting and Referral (IHEARR) Act (also known as Act 89) that was passed in 2001 to require universal newborn hearing screening for all babies born in Pennsylvania. These standards are also consistent with the Health Resources and Services Administration's and Healthy People 2020 Objectives on Newborn Hearing Screening.

Newborns receive a hearing screening test while still in the hospital. Newborns who do not pass the first hearing screening test may receive a second hearing screening test before discharge or after they go home (outpatient). If an infant does not pass the second hearing screening test, his/her primary care provider (PCP) is notified. The PCP directs and coordinates the follow-up evaluation and referral process within the child's medical home. Usually, the PCP refers the infant to an audiologist with the expertise to perform a diagnostic evaluation of infant hearing loss.

The Newborn Hearing Screening Program Guidelines provide more information about the responsibilities of birth facilities, primary care physicians and pediatric audiologists in caring for children with a potential or diagnosed hearing loss.

Infant Hearing Screening Advisory Committee

As part of the IHEARR Act of 2001 (Act 89), the Infant Hearing Screening Advisory Committee was established to advise and oversee the activities of the Newborn Hearing Screening Program. The committee is made up of 2 physicians, 2 pediatric audiologists, and 2 members of the deaf/hard of hearing community and/or parents of children who are deaf/hard of hearing. Each committee member is appointed by the Secretary of Health and serves a 2 year term.

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance is available to primary care physicians, birth hospitals and pediatric audiologists. Please contact the Pennsylvania Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program for further information.

Contact Information

Pennsylvania Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program
Bureau of Family Health
Division of Newborn Screening & Genetics
625 Forster Street
7th Floor, East Wing
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701
717-783- 8143 or 1-877-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.