• Contact Us

    Newborn Screening Unit
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347, MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347

    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Toll-free: 800-252-8023, ext. 7726


Legislative Information

Texas capitol dome viewed from the exterior.Texas’ newborn hearing screening, tracking, and intervention program was established in 1999 with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) as the oversight agency.

In 2011, newborn hearing screening in birthing facilities was changed from an “opt-in” to an “opt-out” screening process. This means that a newborn will receive the hearing screening unless the family declines.

Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 47 is the Texas statute that governs the newborn hearing program. Texas Administrative Code provides the rules followed by DSHS in order to implement the newborn hearing screening program. (View and print the PDF version of the rules.)

The department provides a newborn hearing information management, reporting, and tracking system – known as the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention management information system (TEHDI MIS). Hearing screen providers, hospitals, health care providers, audiologists, and intervention specialists can access the system to provide or obtain information related to an infant’s hearing. 

Written consent from a parent is required before any identifying information may be shared or released through TEHDI MIS. It is recommended the consent form consist of the following elements: 

  • Printed name of parent/guardian
  • Signature of parent/guardian
  • Date
  • Facility name
  • Infant's name and date of birth
  • Authorization to disclose individually identifying information to DSHS, as well as, providers along the hearing continuum care that can assist with follow-up and intervention

Consent is not required to perform a newborn hearing screen. However, a family may decline the screen. The Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner, in collaboration with DSHS, developed a form to document a parent's decision to decline the newborn hearing screening. It is recommended that the refusal is captured in writing.

In accordance with Chapter 47, the department certifies newborn screening programs. Read about the certification process.

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated August 22, 2019