The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a bill to reauthorize federal newborn hearing screening programs for the next 5 years, the American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACI Alliance) announced. The ACI Alliance is a nonprofit organization that advocates for improved access for cochlear implants.
The bill, S.652, now goes to the full Senate for consideration. ACI Alliance, working in a coalition of organizations in hearing healthcare, has been working to advance Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) reauthorization. The Senate bill effort was led by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). A House bill is being led by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA).
The legislation provides Federal funds to states for newborn hearing screening and early intervention services for young children up to age 3. The bill includes language intended to ensure assessment for the full range of assistive hearing technologies appropriate for newborns, infants, and young children, according to the ACI Alliance. Pediatric outcomes with cochlear implants (CI) are dependent upon early identification and early CI, when appropriate.
Source and image: ACI Alliance