- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
- Chapter 20. Special Services For Certain Children
- Section 310. Screening Requirements.
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AS 47.20.310. Screening Requirements.
- (a) Subject to (b) of this section, the physician in attendance at or immediately after the birth of a child in
a hospital in this state, or, if a physician is not in attendance at or immediately after the birth, the person attending the newborn
child in a hospital in this state, shall, unless medically contraindicated, cause the child to be screened to determine whether the
child has a potential hearing impairment using the methods determined by the department under (e) of this section. Unless medically
contraindicated, the screening shall occur before the newborn is released from the hospital or before the infant is 30 days old,
whichever is earlier. Each birthing center that provides maternity and newborn care services shall provide that each newborn in the
center's care is referred for an appointment to a licensed audiologist or to a hospital or other newborn hearing screening provider
before discharge. Unless medically contraindicated, the screening shall occur before the infant is 30 days old.
- (b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, the physician or other person at or immediately after the birth of a
child in a hospital or birthing center that averages less than 20 births a year is not required to screen the child as described in (a)
of this section but shall, before the newborn is released from the hospital or birthing center, refer the child for screening at another
facility or with another provider. Unless medically contraindicated, the screening shall occur before the child is 30 days old.
- (c) If it is determined by screening that a newborn child may have a hearing impairment, the physician or other
person who is required under (a) of this section to cause the child to be screened shall
- (1) refer the child for confirmatory diagnostic evaluation;
- (2) make reasonable efforts to promptly notify the child's parent that the child may have a hearing impairment
and explain to the parent the potential effect of the impairment on the development of the child's speech and language skills and
psychosocial and cognitive development; and
- (3) notify the department of the hearing screening results on a form approved by the department.
- (d) When the Bureau of Vital Statistics receives a certificate of live birth under AS 18.50.160 for a newborn
who was delivered at a place other than a hospital, the bureau shall notify the department employees who administer AS 47.20.310 - 47.20.390. The department employees shall notify the child's
parents of the merits of having a hearing screening performed, and the department shall provide information to the parents to assist the
parents in accomplishing the hearing screening within 30 days after the child's birth.
- (e) The hearing screening required under this section shall use protocols established by the department. At a
minimum, the protocols must include the use of at least one of the following physiologic technologies: automated or diagnostic auditory
brainstem response (ABR) or otoacoustic emissions (OAE). The department shall consider updating the protocols as information is provided
to the department that new physiologic technologies or improvements to existing physiologic technologies will substantially enhance
newborn and infant hearing assessment.
- (f) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a physician or other person required to cause a newborn hearing
screening under this section is exempt from this requirement if the parent of the newborn child objects to the screening procedure on
the grounds that the procedure conflicts with the religious or other tenets and practices of the parent. The parent shall sign a
statement that the parent knowingly refuses the services, and the physician or other person shall have a copy of the signed statement
retained in the hospital records of the birth and sent to the department for tracking under AS 47.20.320 .
- (g) The physician or other person required to cause a newborn hearing screening under this section shall report
the results of newborn hearing screening as required by the department under AS 47.20.320.
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