Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
Newborn Hearing Screening Rules
The Texas Department of State Health Services Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) oversees the newborn hearing program required for all newborns in the state. TEHDI provides guidance and oversight on screening, tracking and intervention according to The Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 47. The law requires all babies born in Texas to receive a hearing screening, proper intervention, and referrals to services if suspected or diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing.
Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 47, was amended by House Bill 2255 and Senate Bill 1404, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019. The existing rules for Newborn Hearing Screening in Texas Administrative Code Title 25, Chapter 37, Subchapter S were repealed entirely and replaced with new rules. The new rules are effective beginning December 23, 2020. Due to the changes in statute, the state developed a consent form (English/Spanish) to ensure consent is documented so hearing/intervention outcomes and individually identifying information is shared with the Department of State Health Services Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Program, and if necessary, the Statewide Outreach Center at Texas School for the Deaf. The information obtained will be used to coordinate services and provide resources to the child and family if needed, and will not be shared with any parties not involved in the child’s hearing screening follow-up and/or intervention process.
Congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) Coordination and Testing
Newborn hearing screening programs (programs) now must test babies for cCMV if they do not pass the initial newborn hearing screen. Not all programs can perform cCMV tests. As such, the birthing facilities are expected to perform these tests or refer to another provider for testing. The newborn’s parents or guardians can decline the test.
Programs are not required to enter tests results into the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention management information system. Also, these changes do not impact follow-up or outpatient hearing screens.
Impacts to Newborn Hearing Screening Programs and Birthing Facilities
Current newborn hearing screening policies, requirements, and practices remain the same. DSHS may ask programs for their testing procedures during program certification and renewal. This will show programs are following the cCMV testing requirements.
DSHS does not plan to develop formal provider guidance on the new cCMV testing requirements. Programs and birthing facilities should work together to coordinate cCMV testing procedures. Procedures should include the process for programs to notify the birthing facility a baby needs cCMV testing. We encourage the provider community to find and share best practices.
Consent to Share
Effective December 23, 2020, the consent form (English/Spanish) supports parent and guardian consent to share hearing/intervention outcomes and individually identifying information with the Department of State Health Services Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Program, and if necessary, the Statewide Outreach Center at Texas School for the Deaf. Consent must be documented. The information obtained will be used to coordinate services and provide resources to the child and family if needed and will not be shared with any parties not involved in the child’s hearing screening follow-up and/or intervention process.
Data and Reporting
Any healthcare provider who performs initial hearing screening, follow-up screening, diagnostic evaluations, follow-up care, or interventions is required to report all patient encounters and outcomes, including pass and do not pass results, in the TEHDI MIS within five calendar days after the date of the patient encounter.
View early hearing detection and intervention annual data and national summaries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) Position Statement. This committee consists of hearing health professionals whose mission is to address issues that are important to the early identification, intervention, and follow-up care of infants and young children with hearing loss.