The current health care system relies on the use of a high-risk registry to identify infants with hearing loss (Table). This system, however, fails to identify approximately 50% of the infants with hearing loss. The RIHAP Study demonstrated that TEOAE can be used to perform universal hearing screening in a medical center environment.
In the RIHAP study, 26.9% failed the initial TEOAE screening, and 6.2% of the total group failed rescreening and required diagnostic evaluation.
Data published by the RIHAP demonstrate that screening can be performed for less than $25 per child. In that study, the cost of identifying a child with a sensorineural hearing loss was $3364, which compares favorably with the $41,000 expended to identify a child with phenylkctonuria or hypothyroidism. Our study also does not compare screening using TEOAE with screening using automated auditory brain stem response.