CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.
ARTICLE 22A. TESTING OF NEWBORN INFANTS FOR HEARING IMPAIRMENTS.
§16-22A-1. Testing required.
The physician or midwife in attendance at, or present
immediately after, a live birth shall perform, or cause to be
performed, a test for hearing loss in the infant unless the
infant's parents refuse under subsection (c), section three of this
article to have the testing performed. For any infant delivered at
a nonlicensed facility, including home births, the physician or
other health care provider shall inform the parents of the need to
obtain testing within the first month of life. The director of the
division of health shall prescribe the test or tests to be
administered in accordance with this article.
§16-22A-2. Rule making authorized.
The director of the division of health shall propose
legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the
provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to:
(1) Establish a reasonable fee schedule for tests administered
pursuant to this article, which shall be used to cover program
costs not otherwise covered by federal grant funds specifically
secured for this purpose; (2) establish a cost-effective testing
protocol based upon available technology and national standards;
(3) establish reporting and referral requirements; and (4)
establish a date for implementation of the testing protocol, which
shall not be later than the first day of July, one thousand nine
§16-22A-3. Fees for testing; payment of same.
(a) Testing required under this article shall be a covered
benefit reimbursable by all health insurers except for health
insurers that offer only supplemental coverage policies or policies
which cover only specified diseases. All policies issued pursuant
to articles fifteen, sixteen, twenty-four and twenty-five-a of
chapter thirty-three of this code shall provide coverage for the
testing required under this article.
(b) The department of health and human resources shall pay for
testing required under this article when the newborn infant is
eligible for medical assistance under the provisions of section
twelve, article five, chapter nine of this code.
(c) In the absence of a third-party payor, the parents of a
newborn infant shall be informed of the testing availability and
its costs and they may refuse to have the testing performed.
Charges for the testing required under this article shall be paid
by the hospital or other health care facility where the infant's
birth occurred: Provided, That nothing contained in this section
may be construed to preclude the hospital or other health care
facility from billing the infant's parents directly.
§16-22A-4. Hearing impairment testing advisory committee
(a) There is hereby established a West Virginia hearing
impairment testing advisory committee which shall advise the
director of the division of health regarding the protocol,
validity, monitoring and cost of testing procedures required under
this article. This committee is to meet four times per year for
the initial two years and on the call of the director thereafter.
The director shall serve as the chair and shall appoint twelve
members, one representing each of the following groups:
(1) A representative of the health insurance industry;
(2) An otolaryngologist or otologist;
(3) An audiologist with experience in evaluating infants;
(4) A neonatologist;
(5) A pediatrician;
(6) A hospital administrator;
(7) A speech or language pathologist;
(8) A teacher or administrative representative from the West
Virginia school of the deaf;
(9) A parent of a hearing-impaired child;
(10) A representative from the office of early intervention
services within the department of health and human resources;
(11) A representative from the state department of education;
(12) A representative from the West Virginia commission for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
(b) Members of this advisory committee shall serve without
compensation. A majority of members constitutes a quorum for the
transaction of all business. Members shall serve for two-year
terms and may not serve for more than two consecutive terms.