On July 1, 1998, the Utah Legislature passed a bill requiring that all births in hospitals with larger that 100 births/year be screened for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. The following year on July 1, 1999, all births (including small hospitals, home births and other
non-traditional birthing facilities) were required to have a hearing screen prior to one month of age. 

Utah Code — Title 26 — Chapter 10 — Family Health Services
Section 6. Testing of newborn infants.
Click here to read the Utah Law on screening babies for hearing loss

Utah Division of Administrative Rules Home as of March 1, 2005
Rule R398-2. Newborn Hearing Screening.
Click here to read the Utah Administrative Rules on screening babies for hearing loss

The only legal exception from these tests, according to Utah Law, are parents who object on the grounds that they are members of a specified, well-recognized religious organization whose teachings are contrary to the tests required by this section.

The Legislature also, as part of that regulation, established an Advisory Committee to oversee newborn hearing screening activities in Utah. The committee meets quarterly and is comprised of various disciplines whose interest would touch on newborn hearing screening. This advisory committee has established “minimal standards” for completing the screening process. These standards are used to judge effectiveness of each of the hospitals. Here are the standards:

  1. 100% of all newborns are appropriately screened prior to discharge.  State Average for 2004 = 98.3%
  2. At least 90% pass initial screening. State Average for 2004 = 92.3%
  3. <1% of all babies referred for diagnostics. State Average for 2004 = .8%
  4. 95% of all diagnostics initiated by 2 months. Reporting process in development. 
  5. Babies with hearing loss referred for early intervention within 2 weeks of diagnostics, or by 6 months of age, whichever is first.

The information was provided by:
Kurt Randall
Audiology Coordinator, EHDI
44 Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84113
(801) 584-8205