Amendments of the sections 201.07, 203.07, 205.07, 207.01 and 207.13 of the Articles of the New York City Health Code regarding Vital Statistics
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose
Background and New Requirements
- Section 201.07(a) of Article 201 (Confidential medical report of birth; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection), Section 203.07(a) of Article 203 (Confidential medical report of spontaneous termination of pregnancy and certificate of induced termination of pregnancy; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection), Sections 205.07(a) and 205.07(c) of Article 205 (Confidential medical report of death; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection)
The Department proposes to amend Section 201.07(a) of Article 201, Section 203.07(a) of Article 203, and Sections 205.07(a) and 205.07(c) of Article 205 of the Health Code, to authorize, in addition to the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee to approve inspection of confidential medical reports of birth, spontaneous terminations of pregnancy (miscarriages), and death. This will ensure greater consistency among Health Code provisions requiring the approval of the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee to grant requests to inspect these documents and make it easier to process requests requiring the Commissioner’s approval.
2. Section 207.01(a) and 207.01(c) (Correction of records; application and approval; accompanying documents)
The Department proposes to amend Section 207.01(a) of Article 207 of the Health Code to allow the Department, consistent with its current ability to correct confidential medical reports of death, to correct confidential medical reports of birth and confidential medical reports of spontaneous terminations of pregnancy (miscarriages) based on new or corrected information it receives from medical facilities. Furthermore, the Department proposes to remove the reference to deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2010, to be consistent with Section 205.07(a).
The Department also proposes to amend Section 207.01(c) of Article 207 of the Health Code to allow funeral directors and undertakers to make certain corrections to death certificates using the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) without first obtaining the Department’s approval. This will expedite the processing of death records and burial permits. Funeral directors and undertakers will be able to correct only the name of the funeral establishment or the method, place (e.g., cemetery or crematory), location (e.g., city, state, or foreign country), or date of disposition (e.g., burial, cremation or transport out of the city). To maintain record integrity, the EDRS will not allow funeral directors and undertakers to change fields like date of birth, usual residence (e.g., state, county, city, town, or street number of residence) and Social Security number.
3. Section 207.13 (Fees for vital statistics services)
The Department proposes to amend Section 207.13 of Article 207 of the Health Code to provide specific processes for verifying information contained in birth certificates, death certificates, and certificates of spontaneous termination of pregnancy (miscarriages). The Department is proposing that, in addition to agencies of the City or State of New York, other government bodies, annuity companies, medical providers and attorneys representing estates be able to verify facts contained in the Department’s records. Verifications would be provided through the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information System (NAPHSIS) Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE), and entities seeking verification must be authorized users of the system.
These amendments to the New York City Health Code (“the Health Code”) are promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”). Section 558 of the Charter empowers the Board of Health (“the Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority.