American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Montana Hearing Screening Requirements for Newborns and School-Aged Children

The following information summarizes hearing screening programs for newborns and school-aged children.

The information has been collected by researching individual state statutes, regulations, policy documents, and by contacting each state. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that regulations and policy may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Newborn Screening

Screening

Each licensed hospital or health care facility that provides obstetric services shall establish a newborn hearing screening program in order to ensure that a hearing screening is provided for each newborn born in the hospital or health care facility or transferred to the hospital or health care facility from the newborn's place of birth, unless the newborn was previously provided a hearing test by a hospital or health care facility from which the newborn was transferred.

Intervention

Educational protocol and materials developed by the Department of Health on newborn hearing screening shall be provided to the parents of the newborn

Standards/Protocols

Each hospital or health care facility shall use equipment designed to perform hearing screenings that utilizes either otoacoustic emissions (OAE) or auditory brainstem response (ABR) technology. Hearing screening equipment shall be maintained, calibrated, and used in strict conformance with manufacturer's guidelines.

Tracking/Reporting

The hospital or health care facility shall document all hearing screening results in the newborn's chart and shall provide the hearing screening results to the parents of the newborn on the newborn's report card form. If the newborn hearing screening indicates a possible hearing loss, the written notification of results to the newborn's parents must include a recommendation for an audiological assessment.

The hospital or health care facility shall also provide the newborn's primary care provider with written notification of the results of the newborn hearing screening. If the newborn hearing screening indicates a possible hearing loss, the written notification of results sent to the newborn's primary care provider must include a recommendation for an audiological assessment.

Each hospital and health care facility required to provide newborn hearing screenings must make a report to the Department of Health each month using the Department's designated reporting software regarding newborn hearing screenings.

Each hospital and health care facility shall enter the following information by the 15th day of each onth for each newborn born in or transferred to the hospital or health care facility during the preceding month:

  • the newborn's full name, date of birth, gender, mother's maiden name, and the location of the newborn's birth;
  • that the education protocol and educational materials developed by the Department of Health on newborn hearing screening were provided to the parents of the newborn;
  • whether the facility did or did not provide a complete hearing screening to the newborn as required;
  • for any newborns not fully screened, a statement of any reason(s) the newborn has not been not fully screened;
  • if the newborn was provided an initial screening prior to discharge, and the results of that screening indicated possible hearing loss, the date scheduled for the follow-up hearing screening;
  • all of the newborn's hearing screening results; and
  • contact information for the newborn's primary care provider if the initial or follow-up hearing screening(s) indicated possible hearing loss.

If a newborn was discharged from a hospital or health care facility after an initial screening that indicated a possible hearing loss, the hospital or health care facility shall file an updated screening report regarding the newborn's hearing screening status by the 15th day of the month immediately following the appointment date set for the second screening.
Each licensed audiologist to whom an infant is referred for audiological assessment following a newborn hearing screening shall file a report with the Department of Health each month regarding the results of the infant's audiological assessment. The report shall be filed using the Department's designated reporting software. The audiologist shall enter and report the following information by the 15th day of each month for each infant assessed during the previous month:

  • the newborn's full name, date of birth, gender, mother's maiden name, and the location of the newborn's birth;
  • the name and address of the hospital or health care facility in which the baby was born or transferred to or the name and address of the health care provider attending the birth;
  • complete audiological assessment results for the newborn, including current hearing status.

Each licensed audiologist to whom an infant is referred for audiological assessment following newborn hearing screening shall request written authorization from the infant's parents for the audiologist to provide the infant's identifying information and test results to the Department of Health for subsequent referral for intervention services to the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind.

School-Age Screening

Ages/Populations Screened

Montana does not have a school hearing screening program in law/regulations, however, in accord with the Montana Office of Public Instruction Hearing Conservation Program guidelines, all students in kindergarten, grades 1, and 9 or 10 are mandated to be screened. A school district may choose to limit screening to these grades or may include additional grades. A district may also choose to include screening all students new to the district and/or may choose to include students referred for screening by teachers or parents, or students with a history of hearing loss.

Resources

For further information on hearing screening requirements, visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.

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