Florida Statute 383.146
A new statute was approved during the 2014 Florida legislative session that impacts audiologists who diagnose hearing loss in infants and toddlers. The implementation date is July 1, 2014 and the exact language is as follows:
383.146 Infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing; notice of service providers.
(1) At the time that an audiologist diagnoses an infant or toddler as having a permanent hearing impairment, the audiologist or their designee shall ask the child's parent or legal guardian if he or she would like to provide contact information to receive direct correspondence from qualified Early Steps providers that offer early intervention services and who specialize in serving children with hearing loss. A parent or legal guardian shall authorize the release of the contact information by signing a consent form.
(2) The department shall post on its website a list of qualified Early Steps providers of early intervention services who specialize in serving children with hearing loss and who have notified the department of their interest to provide direct communication to families who wish to receive information about the services that they provide.
(3) The audiologist or designee shall send by secure transmission the consent form to those providers listed on the department’s website.
The statute requires that the Florida Department of Health post a list of qualified, approved Early Steps providers of early intervention services who specialize in serving children with hearing loss and who have notified the department of their interest to provide direct communication to families about the services they provide. Families must indicate that they wish to receive information. Communication to parents would occur after the parent or legal guardian has provided consent. Audiologists may use their own facility's consent form or modify the FS 383.146 Sample Parent Authorization to Release Information Form for this purpose.
Providers who have notified the Department of Health of their interest to provide direct communication to families can be found at the following link:List of Early Steps Providers
Pediatric Audiologists Enrollment in the Children's Medical Services (CMS) Provider NetworkPediatric audiologists can be enrolled in the CMS provider network. Applicants who qualify will be approved to join the CMS network in licensed non-physician healthcare professional provider category.
Why Enroll to Become a CMS Audiologist?
CMS network enrollment allows a list of pediatric audiologists to be provided to hospitals and physicians across Florida for the purpose of directing the thousands of infants referred by newborn hearing screening to pediatric audiologists who have been recognized as being highly skilled at evaluating the hearing of babies that are only weeks old.
The goal is to diagnose babies with hearing loss before three months of age and get them enrolled in early intervention services before 6 months of age.
How do You Enroll to Become a CMS Audiologist?
The process of provider application involves four basic steps:
Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.
Step One: Read the CMS Provider Management Licensed Non-Physician Healthcare Professionals Handbook.
Step Two: Complete and submit an electronic application by either updating an existing application or creating a new application at the CMS-Kids Provider website. For help with your application contact CMS help at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-850-245-4215. You will receive acknowledgement of receipt of your application in 5-7 business days.
Step Three: Mail all required documentation to the CMS Provider Management Specialist. Documentation includes certifications, liability insurance, diplomas, experience verification, and reports. All required provider documentation must be received within 30 days of completion of the online application. If all documentation is not received within 30 days, the application will be terminated from the system.
Step Four: Upon review of the application and required documentation, the CMS Provider Management Specialist will contact you if there is any missing documentation. When your application has been approved, you will be notified.
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