Mandated Benefits Review - Senate Bill 938 - Executive Summary

After reviewing the staff analysis of Senate Bill 938 (97-98 session) - the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Act - the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council does not find evidence to recommend passage of this legislation in its current form. This bill deals with two separate and distinct proposals - mandating that all newborns be screened for a hearing loss and mandating that insurance carriers cover the cost of the screening. While the issue of newborn hearing loss is emotionally compelling, we were unable to find that mandatory testing of all newborns and mandatory coverage of universal newborn hearing screening would be cost effective. We note the following: