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Mandatory Reporting of Hearing Loss in Georgia

Mandatory Reporting of Aggregate Hospital Screening Data

Georgia law 31-1-3.2, “Hearing screenings for newborns”, mandates that all hospitals report to the Department of Public Health:

(1) Number of newborn infants born in the hospital;

(2) Number of newborn infants screened;

(3) Number of newborn infants who passed the screening; and

(4) Number of newborn infants who did not pass the screening. 

  • Information is also requested on newborns discharged without the screening to include:
    •  all newborns transferred out without screening,
    • “referred” initial screening,
    • refused screening, and
    • any newborns that died prior to hearing screening.

Reports are due quarterly to the Department of Public Health to the UNHSI District Coordinator of the health district that the hospital is located within.  Electronic reporting into SendSS is strongly recommended, but numbers can also be reported by paper on the Hospital Reporting Form.

Mandatory Reporting of Individual Screening Results

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.