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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 11:57 pm | Fair 51º


Capps Co-Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, joined Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., on Tuesday in introducing House Resolution 1344, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015.

H.R. 1344 will reauthorize the federal authority for hearing tests and intervention programs for newborn babies, which were first authorized through the Newborn Infant Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 1999.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association reports that there has been tremendous growth in the number of newborn babies screened each year. In 2000, only 40 percent of newborns were screened. That number rose to just over 86 percent in 2011. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number has risen to about 97 percent of all infant children.

“The success of the program is evident, but there is more work to be done,” Guthries said. “Early detection of hearing loss is just like the early detection of any other disease or illness — it can dramatically change the outcome of one’s prognosis. By reauthorizing these screening and intervention programs, and by shifting our focus to ensure there is less loss to follow-up, we can ensure all newborn babies are being evaluated and receiving any necessary treatment.”

“The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act is an important bill that promotes universal newborn hearing screening — a vital investment in a child’s future,” Capps said. “Early detection of hearing loss is critical to ensuring that children and their families get access to effective treatment programs sooner. I urge my colleagues to take up this bipartisan bill and reauthorize funding for this important program.”

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act expires in September.

— Jennifer Sherman is the communications director for Rep. Brett Guthrie.


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