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UNHSI Audiologists

Information for Audiologists

Policies and Procedures

Mandatory Reporting of Hearing Loss in Georgia

In July 2002, the Board of Human Resources approved a request to add childhood hearing impairment to the state's Notifiable Disease List. Birth defects are reportable under State Law, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 31-12-2 and 31-1-3.2, which mandate the reporting of notifiable diseases.

The following conditions related to hearing loss are required to be reported to Public Health:

  1. Newborns “referring”  the initial or follow-up hearing screening (suspected hearing impairment): Newborns that “refer” a newborn hearing screening are to be reported to the Children 1st (C1st) Coordinator in the health district where the child resides, using the Children 1st Screening and Referral Form immediately following screening or at least within 7 calendar days. All information on the form that is known to the screener/evaluator/audiologist should be filled out and submitted.
  2. Children through the age of five (5) years with the initial confirmation/diagnosis of hearing loss/impairment, which is suspected to be permanent, measured and described by a licensed audiologist is required to be reported within 7 days of diagnosis.  The "Surveillance of Hearing Impairment in Infants and Young Children"** form is used by the audiologist and/or physician with knowledge of the hearing impairment and should be sent to the health district where the child resides.
    • Hearing loss/impairment is defined as a threshold average of 15 dB or greater between 500Hz - 4000Hz, whether unilateral or bilateral.

**Link “Surveillance of Hearing Impairment in Infants and Young Children” to Surveillance form

Georgia Hearing Aid Loaner Bank (GA HALB)

Georgia’s Hearing Aid Loaner Bank (GA HALB), provides temporary hearing aids for children, birth through 36 months, who are in need of temporary hearing aids.  The hearing aid(s) will be loaned on a one time basis per child and includes one earmold per hearing aid.  The hearing aids available to use are Phonak Nios and Phonak Nadia.  There are no financial eligibility requirements of the family and the term of the loan is for 6 months.  Referrals to the GA HALB must be initiated through the UNHSI District Coordinator. 

In order to obtain a hearing aid for a child, the fitting audiologist must submit documentation and a completed application from the child’s caregiver.  Audiologist documentation includes a copy of the comprehensive audiometric evaluation and medical clearance from the otolaryngologist.  Caregivers will be responsible for completing a short application, which includes signing an agreement waiver to the terms of the loan.

If approved, the fitting Audiologist will be reimbursed by the District UNHSI program at $150.00 per device, which includes cost for the earmold(s) and for the initial fitting of the loaner hearing aid(s).  Once the fitting occurs, the following documentation must be submitted for reimbursement:  copy of the ear mold invoice, copy of aided test results and real ear measurements, and date of loaner recipient’s 6-month follow-up appointment. However, funding for this effort is limited and therefore, there is no guarantee that the child/family will receive the temporary hearing aid.

UNHSI is hoping the loaner bank will assist families by providing temporary hearing aids while children are waiting to receive personal amplification device(s) through a third party payer such as insurance or another funding source.  At this time, no bone conduction aids are available for loan.  However, we encourage you to contact the UNHSI program to determine if there is a significant need to include a bone conduction aid in the GA HALB.  For more information on the GA HALB, please contact your UNHSI District Coordinator or UNHSI Program at 404-657-5761.   

Audiology Listserv

A listserv of pediatric audiologists was created to provide as a Georgia resource to families and providers.   To find an Audiologist, please link to "Audiology Services for Infants in Georgia”.  To be added to the directory, complete the "Survey of Pediatric Audiology Services For Infants in Georgia.”