2018 Mississippi Code
Title 41 - Public Health
Chapter 90 - Hearing Impairment of Infants and Toddlers
§ 41-90-5. Program for registration of newborns suffering from impaired hearing; purpose.
(1) There is established a program of early hearing detection and intervention for newborns, infants and toddlers in the State of Mississippi who have impaired hearing. It is the purpose of this early hearing detection and intervention program to:
(a) Identify such children near birth in order that they and their parents or caregivers may be assisted in obtaining education, training, medical, diagnostic and therapeutic services, and other assistance necessary to enable them to become productive citizens of the state;
(b) Provide the state with the information necessary to effectively plan and establish a comprehensive system of developmentally appropriate services for deaf and hearing impaired infants and toddlers; and
(c) Reduce the likelihood of secondary disabling conditions for such children.
(2) The State Department of Health, as “lead agency” for the implementation of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and in accordance with the provisions of the Early Intervention Act for Infants and Toddlers (Section 41-87-1 through Section 41-87-19), shall administer the early hearing detection and intervention program. The State Part C Coordinator is designated as the director of the early hearing detection and intervention program and is charged with its administration. The State Part C Coordinator may designate a staff person (or persons) to carry out the provisions of this section. All hospitals in the state and other providers of services that have established hearing screening procedures for infants and toddlers ages birth through two (2) shall report to the State Part C Coordinator the results of all screening procedures. All persons and providers in the state who perform a diagnostic hearing evaluation on an infant or toddler (birth through age 2 years) referred as a result of a newborn hearing screening failure, shall report the results of the diagnostic hearing evaluation to the State Part C Coordinator within two (2) business days after their completion. The aforementioned persons and providers shall also report to the State Part C Coordinator the results of all diagnostic hearing evaluations of infants and toddlers (birth through age 2 years), including appropriate personal and identifying information, when those results confirm the presence of a hearing impairment consistent with Section 41-90-1(2). The information compiled and maintained in the early hearing detection and intervention program shall be kept confidential in accordance with the applicable requirements and provisions of the Early Intervention Act for Infants and Toddlers (Section 41-87-1 through Section 41-87-19) and Part C of IDEA. Families of all identified children with hearing impairments will be provided information on the availability of services in the state for children with hearing impairments, including those provided in accordance with Part C of IDEA through the statewide infant and toddler early intervention system.
(3) The director of the early hearing detection and intervention program or his or her designee shall facilitate the reporting of infants and toddlers who fail to pass hearing screening or follow-up diagnostic hearing evaluation by hospitals or any other person or provider of services, as provided in subsection (2) of this section. Reports may be submitted to the early hearing detection and intervention program through the use of prepaid envelopes, sending of facsimiles, or telephone via statewide toll free number, or by other designated electronic data transmission process. It is the purpose of this subsection to facilitate the reporting of infants and toddlers who may have impaired hearing. The reporting requirements shall be designed to be as simple as possible and easily completed by nonprofessional persons when necessary.
(4) The State Board of Health may adopt rules and regulations that the board considers necessary to implement this section with input from the advisory committee established in Section 41-90-7. The board in its rules and regulations may specify the types of information to be provided to the State Part C Coordinator for the early hearing detection and intervention program. The State Department of Health may:
(a) Execute contracts that the department deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this section;
(b) Obtain data from medical records for children suspected of having hearing impairments that are in the custody or under the control of laboratories, hospitals, audiologists, physicians, or other health-care providers to record and analyze the data related to the child’s hearing impairment or suspected hearing impairment;
(c) Provide guidance on protocols and equipment to be utilized during diagnostic hearing evaluations of infants and toddlers;
(d) Compile and publish statistical and other studies derived from the patient data obtained under this section to provide in an accessible form information that is useful to physicians, other medical personnel, the State Department of Education, the Legislature and the general public;
(e) Comply with requirements as necessary to obtain federal funds in the maximum amounts and in the most advantageous portions possible; and
(f) Receive and use gifts made for the purpose of this section.
(5) Data obtained by the establishment of the early hearing detection and intervention program that is taken directly from the medical records of a patient is for the confidential use of the State Department of Health and the persons or public or private entities that the department determines are necessary to carry out the intent of the program. The data is privileged and may not be divulged or made public in a manner that discloses the identity of an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data for the early hearing detection and intervention program. Information that may identify an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data for this section is not available for public inspection under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983. Statistical information collected under this section is public information.
(6) The following persons who act in compliance with this section are not civilly or criminally liable for furnishing information required by this section: a hospital, clinical laboratory or other health-care facility, an audiologist, an administrator, officer or employee of a hospital or other health-care facility, and a physician or employee of a physician.