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Newborn Hearing and Screening Intervention 

The Pennsylvania Hearing Screening and Intervention program seeks to assure that all newborns:

  • are screened for hearing loss within the first 30 days;
  • are diagnosed within 3 months; and
  • receive prescribed treatment or intervention services within 6 months. 

These standards are consistent with The Infant Hearing Education, Assessment, Reporting and Referral (IHEARR) Act (Act 89 of 2001) as well as the Health Resources and Services Administration's and Healthy People 2030 Objectives on Newborn Hearing Screening.  

Most newborns should receive an initial hearing screening while still in the hospital.

Infants who do not pass the initial screen receive follow-up re-screening at the hospital, often as an outpatient.  

If an infant does not pass the re-screening, 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 expertise in the evaluation of infant hearing loss for a diagnostic evaluation. 

If hearing loss is diagnosed, the PCP should discuss with the parents/guardians that children with a hearing difference are at risk of language delays and that there is a system of support in Pennsylvania to prevent such delays.

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