Newborn Hearing Screening Program Relies on Physician Assistance
Tennessee's Newborn Hearing Screening (NHS) Program recognizes the important role physicians play in assuring families receive timely services to increase the benefits of early identification of hearing loss. The 2007 Position Statement from the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and the American Academy of Pediatrics has set forth the following recommendations commonly known as the "1-3-6 rule".
 
By 1 month:  At the first well-baby visit, the physician should verify the results of the each newborn's hearing screen. If the physician has not received results, the provider may call the Tennessee Voice Response System at 866-355-6132 to learn of screening outcomes.
 
By 3 months: Babies referred on the newborn hearing screen must have a comprehensive audiologic evaluation no later than three months of age. In 2007, nearly one-third of referred Tennessee newborns did not return for follow-up. To improve timely response, providers are encouraged to assist families in making an appointment with a pediatric audiologist and are encouraged to fax all hearing follow-up results to the NHS Program at 615-262-6159.
 
By 6 months: Infants with confirmed permanent hearing loss should receive intervention services before 6 months of age. Any child diagnosed with hearing loss (mild to profound, unilateral or bilateral) becomes eligible for services through Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), once a referral is made. Physicians are asked to confirm a child's participation and make sure parents are aware of services. Providers are also encouraged to refer every baby with any degree of suspected or confirmed hearing loss to TEIS (800-852-7157).
 
Contact: The NHS staff welcomes questions. Contact Julie Beeler, NHS Audiology Consultant, at 865-765-3586 or jbeeler8@utk.edu.