This bill has been amended

Bill S4668A-2013

Establishes the electronic death registration system

Establishes the electronic death registration system.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 4, 2013: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 29, 2013: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO HEALTH
  • May 23, 2013: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 13, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 4668A
  • May 13, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • Apr 17, 2013: REFERRED TO HEALTH

Meetings

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Health - Jun 4, 2013
Ayes (16): Hannon, Ball, Farley, Felder, Fuschillo, Golden, Larkin, Savino, Seward, Young, Rivera, Montgomery, Hassell-Thompson, Peralta, O'Brien, Hoylman
Ayes W/R (1): Adams

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4668A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to the establishment of an electronic death registration system

PURPOSE: To establish an electronic death registration system for collecting, storing, recording, transmitting, amending, correcting and authenticating information relating to deaths occurring in the state.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill adds a new section 4148 to the public health law to create the electronic death registration system as follows:

* Subdivision 1 authorizes and directs the Department of Health (DOH) to design, implement and maintain an electronic death registration system for collecting, storing, recording, transmitting, amending, correcting and authentication information as necessary and appropriate to complete a death registration, and to generate documents in relation to a death occurring in this state. This subdivision also provides that the $20 payment authorized by this legislation on each burial and removal permit issued to a licensed funeral director or undertaker shall be used by the department for costs associated with the electronic death registration system.

* Subdivision 2 provides that commencing on the implementation date, all deaths occurring within the state must be registered using the electronic death registration system. This subdivision also provides that electronic death registration may be phased in.

* Subdivision 3 provides that commencing on the implementation date, all persons required to register a death or file a certificate of death shall have access to the electronic death registration system for the purpose of entering information required to execute, complete and file a certificate of death or to retrieve such information, or to generate documentation from the system. All existing laws relating to confidentiality shall apply to information maintained in this system.

* Subdivision 4 provides that commencing on January 1, 2015, a digital signature may be used to satisfy any signature requirement.

* Subdivision 5 provides that licensed funeral directors and undertakers shall support the establishment and maintenance of the electronic death registration system through a $20 payment tendered for each burial and removal permit issued. This subdivision also provides that such payment shall be considered a cost of operation and cannot be passed on to the consumer.

Section 2 amends subdivision 1 of section 4100-a of the public health law and adds a new subdivision 5 to this section to include, after the implementation date of the electronic death registration system, an electronically produced print of the original death certificate within the definition of "certified copy." This section also adds a definition for the term "electronic death registration system."

Section 3 amends subdivision 1 of section 4140 of the public health law to provide that a required certificate of death shall be filed electronically.

Section 4 amends section 4141-a of the public health law to provide that hospital administrators shall sign and submit death certificates electronically.

Section 5 adds a new subdivision (e) to section 4142 of the public health law to provide that funeral directors shall submit death certificates electronically.

Section 6 amends paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 and subdivisions 3 and 5 of section 4144 of the public health law to make conforming changes

Section 7 amends subdivisions 1 and 4 of section 4161 of the public health law to make conforming changes.

Section 8 amends subdivision 3 of section 4171 of the public health law to make conforming changes.

Section 9 provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Death certificates are used in New York State, as in the rest of the United States, for administrative and public health purposes. They are universally recognized as the primary source of death information, but registration processes remain labor intensive, employ disparate and limited automated procedures and require several professionals at different locations to complete each of the more than 95,000 death certificates registered each year in New York State outside the City of New York.

Since the origination of civil vital records registration, death certificate completion has mostly remained the province of funeral directors, with physicians and frequently medical examiners and coroners, providing cause and manner of death information. Manual certificate preparation, including the personal delivery of these official records to physicians for signature, extensive and costly travel by funeral directors to file certificates, and the labor-intensive processing of paper records with local registrars and at the NYS Department of Health's (DOH) Office of Vital Records all contribute to slowing registration and delaying the availability of death data.

The responsibility of coordinating the current manual process of ensuring the completion and filing of each death certificate falls upon funeral directors. This process is exacerbated by the statutory requirement that each death certificate must be properly completed and filed with the appropriate local registrar within 72 hours after the subject person's death. The very cumbersome and time-consuming nature of this process needlessly takes valuable time away from a funeral director that could, and should, be dedicated to his or her foremost responsibility - serving the needs of those who have just suffered the loss of a cherished family member or other loved one. In addition, the current process unnecessarily raises operating costs for small business funeral homes and their customers, indirectly through lost

productivity and directly through higher gasoline and other motor vehicle expenses.

Although commencement of an electronic death registration system was begun by New York State more than a decade ago, the program was soon abandoned. However, work on such a system was continued for birth certificates, which have been processed electronically for many years. Laudably, DOH began the process once again within the last few years, only to see it come to a halt early in 2011 due to the State's severe fiscal challenges.

Licensed funeral directors and undertakers have expressed their strong interest in partnering with DOH to support the establishment and maintenance of such a system through a $20 payment to be tendered for each burial and removal permit issued, the proceeds from which shall be used by DOH solely for costs associated with the creation and maintenance of the electronic death registration system. The industry has specifically asked for, and strongly supports, this payment and, even with its imposition, enactment of an electronic death registration system would result in a significant net savings for funeral directors and undertakers in the state.

It is well past time for New York State to join the ranks of the 41 other states, the City of New York and the District of Columbia in adopting an Electronic Death Registration System. The enactment of this legislation would accomplish this long-sought goal and, in recognition of the State's dire fiscal constraints, establish a dedicated funding stream like that used in California, New Jersey and other states to finance the construction, implementation and maintenance of such a system.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.6256-A - Part C of 2012

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This proposal is estimated to generate revenue of $2.2 million in the current fiscal year, increasing to $2.9 million when fully annualized. These funds would be used to pay for the establishment and operation of the electronic death registration system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4668--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 17, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the establishment of an electronic death registration system THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 4148 to read as follows: S 4148. ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM. 1. THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO DESIGN, IMPLEMENT AND MAINTAIN AN ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM FOR COLLECTING, STORING, RECORDING, TRANSMITTING, AMENDING, CORRECTING AND AUTHENTICATING INFORMATION, AS NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE TO COMPLETE A DEATH REGISTRATION, AND TO GENERATE SUCH DOCUMENTS AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN RELATION TO A DEATH OCCURRING IN THIS STATE. THE PAYMENT REFERENCED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE COLLECTED FOR EACH BURIAL OR REMOVAL PERMIT ISSUED ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION FROM THE LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR OR UNDERTAKER TO WHOM SUCH PERMIT IS ISSUED, IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL BE USED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION. 2. COMMENCING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL REQUIRE THAT DEATHS OCCURRING WITHIN THIS STATE MUST BE REGISTERED USING THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM ESTABLISHED IN THIS SECTION. ELEC- TRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION MAY BE PHASED IN, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMIS- SIONER, FOR DEATHS OCCURRING IN THE STATE UNTIL THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM IS FULLY IMPLEMENTED IN THE STATE. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "IMPLEMENTATION DATE" MEANS THE FIRST DAY IN JANUARY IN THE SECOND YEAR AFTER THIS SECTION BECOMES A LAW, OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS
THE COMMISSIONER REASONABLY DETERMINES BY REGULATION IS FEASIBLE IN LIGHT OF THE INTENT OF THIS SECTION. 3. COMMENCING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE, ALL PERSONS REQUIRED TO REGISTER A DEATH OR FILE A CERTIFICATE OF DEATH UNDER THIS ARTICLE, AND SUCH OTHERS AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSIONER, SHALL HAVE ACCESS TO THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENTERING INFORMATION REQUIRED TO EXECUTE, COMPLETE AND FILE A CERTIFICATE OF DEATH OR TO RETRIEVE SUCH INFORMATION OR GENERATE DOCUMENTATION FROM THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM. THE CONFIDENTIALITY PROVISIONS IN SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO INFORMATION MAINTAINED IN THIS SYSTEM. 4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH DATE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, ANY REQUIREMENT OF THIS TITLE FOR A SIGNATURE OF ANY PERSON SHALL BE DEEMED SATISFIED BY THE USE BY SUCH PERSON OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE PROVIDED SUCH PERSON IS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION TO USE THE ELEC- TRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM. 5. LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTORS AND UNDERTAKERS SHALL SUPPORT THE ESTAB- LISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM THROUGH A PAYMENT, TENDERED FOR EACH BURIAL AND REMOVAL PERMIT ISSUED TO A LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR OR UNDERTAKER, IN THE AMOUNT OF TWENTY DOLLARS, PROVIDED THAT SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE CONSIDERED A COST OF OPERA- TION AND THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR OR UNDERTAKER SHALL NOT CHARGE ANY ADDI- TIONAL FEE RELATED TO SUCH PAYMENT FOR FUNERAL OR OTHER SERVICES. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 4100-a of the public health law, as amended by chapter 644 of the laws of 1988, is amended and a new subdi- vision 5 is added to read as follows: 1. The term "certified copy" means a photographic reproduction in the form of a photocopy or a microfilm print of the original certificate OR ELECTRONICALLY PRODUCED PRINT OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE, COMMENCING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY- EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, and certified by the commissioner, his designated representative, a local registrar [or his deputy], DEPUTY REGISTRAR OR SUB-REGISTRAR as a true copy thereof. 5. THE TERM "ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM" MEANS THE DATA SYSTEM CREATED AND MAINTAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR COLLECTING, STORING, RECORDING, TRANSMITTING, AMENDING, CORRECTING AND AUTHENTICATING INFOR- MATION, AS NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE TO COMPLETE A DEATH REGISTRATION, AND TO GENERATE SUCH DOCUMENTS AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, INCLUD- ING PERMITS OR CERTIFICATES, RELATING TO A DEATH OCCURRING IN THIS STATE. S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 4140 of the public health law is amended to read as follows: 1. The death of each person who has died in this state shall be regis- tered immediately and not later than seventy-two hours after death or the finding of a dead human body, by filing with the registrar of the district in which the death occurred or the body was found a certificate of such death, [which certificate shall be upon the form] IN A MANNER AND FORMAT AS prescribed by the commissioner, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE THROUGH ELECTRONIC MEANS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. S 4. Section 4141-a of the public health law, as amended by chapter 153 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: S 4141-a. Death certificate; duties of hospital administrator. When a death occurs in a hospital, except in those cases where certificates are
issued by coroners or medical examiners, the person in charge of such hospital or his or her designated representative shall promptly present the certificate to the physician or nurse practitioner in attendance, or a physician or nurse practitioner acting in his or her behalf, who shall promptly certify to the facts of death, provide the medical information required by the certificate, sign the medical certificate of death, and thereupon return such certificate to such person, so that the seventy- two hour registration time limit prescribed in section four thousand one hundred forty of this title can be met; PROVIDED, HOWEVER THAT COMMENC- ING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, INFORMATION AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE OBTAINED AND MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. S 5. Section 4142 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision (e) to read as follows: (E) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY CONTRARY PROVISIONS OF LAW AS MAY BE SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION, COMMENCING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, INFORMATION AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE OBTAINED AND MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. S 6. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 and subdivisions 3 and 5 of section 4144 of the public health law, paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 153 of the laws of 2011, are amended to read as follows: (b) Verbal permission to remove a body of a deceased person from the county in which death occurred or the body was found to a non-adjacent county within the state of New York, as provided in subdivision one of this section, shall be issued by the said registrar of vital statistics, upon request by telephone of a licensed funeral director or undertaker who holds a certificate of death signed by the attending physician or nurse practitioner, OR FOR DEATHS OCCURRING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTA- TION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, SUCH CERTIFICATE OF DEATH SIGNED BY THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN OR NURSE PRACTITIONER IS AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, showing that the death resulted from natural causes and was not a result of accidental, suicidal, homicidal or other external causes. 3. No registrar of vital statistics shall receive any fee for the issuance of burial or removal permits under this chapter EXCEPT AS REFERENCED BY SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS TITLE AND other than the compensation provided in this article. 5. If the interment, or other disposition of the body of a deceased person is to be made within the state, the wording of the burial or removal permit may be limited to a statement by the registrar, and over his signature, that a satisfactory certificate of death, having been filed with him, as required by law, permission is granted to inter, remove or otherwise dispose of the body, stating the name, age, sex, cause of death, and other necessary details [upon the form prescribed by the commissioner] IN A MANNER AND FORMAT AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE COMMISSIONER. S 7. Subdivisions 1 and 4 of section 4161 of the public health law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 589 of the laws of 1991 and subdivi- sion 4 as amended by chapter 153 of the laws of 2011, are amended to read as follows: 1. The certificate of fetal death and the report of fetal death shall contain such information and be in such form as the commissioner may
prescribe; PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT COMMENCING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTA- TION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE, INFORMATION AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE OBTAINED AND MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE, except that unless requested by the woman neither the certificate nor the report of fetal death shall contain the name of the woman, her social security number or any other information which would permit her to be identified except as provided in this subdivision. The report shall state that a certificate of fetal death was filed with the commissioner and the date of such filing. The commis- sioner shall develop a unique, confidential identifier to be used on the certificate of fetal death to be used in connection with the exercise of the commissioner's authority to monitor the quality of care provided by any individual or entity licensed to perform an abortion in this state and to permit coordination of data concerning the medical history of the woman for purposes of conducting surveillance scientific studies and research pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (j) of subdivision one of section two hundred six of this chapter. 4. When a fetal death occurs in a hospital, except in those cases where certificates are issued by coroners or medical examiners, the person in charge of such hospital or his or her designated represen- tative shall promptly present the certificate to the physician or nurse practitioner in attendance, or a physician or nurse practitioner acting in his or her behalf, who shall promptly certify to the facts of birth and of fetal death, provide the medical information required by the certificate, sign the medical certificate of birth and death, and there- upon return such certificate to such person, so that the seventy-two hour registration time limit prescribed in section four thousand one hundred sixty of this title can be met; PROVIDED, HOWEVER THAT COMMENC- ING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE, INFORMATION AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE OBTAINED AND MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE. S 8. Subdivision 3 of section 4171 of the public health law is amended to read as follows: 3. All certificates, either of birth or death, shall be written legi- bly, in durable black ink, [and no] PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT COMMENCING ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE UNDER SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE, DEATH CERTIFICATES SHALL BE COMPLETED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE. NO certificate, WHETHER FILED IN PAPER FORM OR DEATH CERTIFICATE FILED ELECTRONICALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE, shall be held to be complete and correct that does not supply all of the items of information called for therein, or satisfac- torily account for their omission. S 9. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that the commis- sioner of health is authorized to make regulations as necessary to implement this act.

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