(a) “Agency” means the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(c) “Hearing impairment” means a hearing loss of 30 dB HL or greater in the frequency region important for speech recognition and comprehension in one or both ears, approximately 500 through 4,000 hertz.
(d) “Infant” means an age range from 30 days through 12 months.
(e) “Licensed health care provider” means a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, a nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 464, or an audiologist licensed pursuant to chapter 468, rendering services within the scope of his or her license.
(f) “Management” means the habilitation of the hearing-impaired child.
(g) “Newborn” means an age range from birth through 29 days.
(h) “Screening” means a test or battery of tests administered to determine the need for an in-depth hearing diagnostic evaluation.
(3) REQUIREMENTS FOR SCREENING OF NEWBORNS; INSURANCE COVERAGE; REFERRAL FOR ONGOING SERVICES.—
(a) Each licensed hospital or other state-licensed birthing facility that provides maternity and newborn care services shall provide that all newborns are, prior to discharge, screened for the detection of hearing loss, to prevent the consequences of unidentified disorders.
(b) Each licensed birth center that provides maternity and newborn care services shall provide that all newborns are, prior to discharge, referred to a licensed audiologist, a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, or a hospital or other newborn hearing screening provider, for screening for the detection of hearing loss, to prevent the consequences of unidentified disorders. The referral for appointment shall be made within 30 days after discharge. Written documentation of the referral must be placed in the newborn’s medical chart.
(c) If the parent or legal guardian of the newborn objects to the screening, the screening must not be completed. In such case, the physician, midwife, or other person who is attending the newborn shall maintain a record that the screening has not been performed and attach a written objection that must be signed by the parent or guardian.
(d) For home births, the health care provider in attendance is responsible for coordination and referral to a licensed audiologist, hospital, or other newborn hearing screening provider. The referral for appointment shall be made within 30 days after the birth. In cases in which the home birth is not attended by a primary health care provider, a referral to a licensed audiologist, physician licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, hospital, or other newborn hearing screening provider must be made by the health care provider within the first 3 months after the child’s birth.
(e) All newborn and infant hearing screenings shall be conducted by a licensed audiologist, physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, or appropriately supervised individual who has completed documented training specifically for newborn hearing screening. Every licensed hospital that provides maternity or newborn care services shall obtain the services of a licensed audiologist, physician licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, or other newborn hearing screening provider, through employment or contract or written memorandum of understanding, for the purposes of appropriate staff training, screening program supervision, monitoring the scoring and interpretation of test results, rendering of appropriate recommendations, and coordination of appropriate followup services. Appropriate documentation of the screening completion, results, interpretation, and recommendations must be placed in the medical record within 24 hours after completion of the screening procedure.
(f) The screening of a newborn’s hearing should be completed before the newborn is discharged from the hospital. If the screening is not completed before discharge due to scheduling or temporary staffing limitations, the screening must be completed within 30 days after discharge. Screenings completed after discharge or performed because of initial screening failure must be completed by an audiologist licensed in the state, a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, or a hospital or other newborn hearing screening provider.
(g) Each hospital shall formally designate a lead physician responsible for programmatic oversight for newborn hearing screening. Each birth center shall designate a licensed health care provider to provide such programmatic oversight and to ensure that the appropriate referrals are being completed.
(h) When ordered by the treating physician, screening of a newborn’s hearing must include auditory brainstem responses, or evoked otacoustic emissions, or appropriate technology as approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(i) Newborn hearing screening must be conducted on all newborns in hospitals in this state on birth admission. When a newborn is delivered in a facility other than a hospital, the parents must be instructed on the importance of having the hearing screening performed and must be given information to assist them in having the screening performed within 3 months after the child’s birth.
(j) The initial procedure for screening the hearing of the newborn or infant and any medically necessary followup reevaluations leading to diagnosis shall be a covered benefit, reimbursable under Medicaid as an expense compensated supplemental to the per diem rate for Medicaid patients enrolled in MediPass or Medicaid patients covered by a fee for service program. For Medicaid patients enrolled in HMOs, providers shall be reimbursed directly by the Medicaid Program Office at the Medicaid rate. This service may not be considered a covered service for the purposes of establishing the payment rate for Medicaid HMOs. All health insurance policies and health maintenance organizations as provided under ss. 627.6416, 627.6579, and 641.31(30), except for supplemental policies that only provide coverage for specific diseases, hospital indemnity, or Medicare supplement, or to the supplemental polices, shall compensate providers for the covered benefit at the contracted rate. Nonhospital-based providers shall be eligible to bill Medicaid for the professional and technical component of each procedure code.
(k) A child who is diagnosed as having a permanent hearing impairment shall be referred to the primary care physician for medical management, treatment, and followup services. Furthermore, in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Pub. L. No. 108-446, Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities, any child from birth to 36 months of age who is diagnosed as having a hearing impairment that requires ongoing special hearing services must be referred to the Children’s Medical Services Early Intervention Program serving the geographical area in which the child resides.
(l) Any person who is not covered through insurance and cannot afford the costs for testing shall be given a list of newborn hearing screening providers who provide the necessary testing free of charge.