The Montana Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (NBHSI) Program's goal is to ensure that all infants in Montana are provided with adequate newborn hearing screening services and resources. To meet this goal, the NBHSI program follows the 1-3-6 Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) guidelines established by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. These guidelines provide that:
- All babies born in Montana receive newborn hearing screening by one month of age—including second screenings if indicated
- Diagnostic services, if needed, are performed by three months of age by a qualified pediatric audiologist
- Referral to early intervention services provided by the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind (MSDB) or part C for all babies diagnosed with permanent hearing loss by six months of age.
In 2008 Montana legislation mandated all hospitals in Montana that deliver babies provide newborn hearing screening services and that medical providers who deliver babies outside a hospital shall provide parents with educational resources about the importance of newborn hearing screening. This legislation also requires audiologists to report screening and diagnostic test results to the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program for reporting and tracking purposes. The Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind was designated as the primary agency responsible for tracking all children who are diagnosed with hearing loss and providing family support services.
Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program Partners:
- Birthing Hospitals
- County Health Departments
- Primary Care Physicians
- Part C Early Intervention
- Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind