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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Monday, April 25, 2016
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

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(b) and (c) 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 Department extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

Background and New Requirements

           

  1. 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 amends 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 amends Section 207.01(a) of Article 207 of the Health Code to authorize 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 removes the reference to deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2010, to be consistent with Section 205.07(a). 

 

The Department also amends Section 207.01(c) of Article 207 of the Health Code to allow funeral directors, undertakers, or the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) 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, undertakers, or the OCME 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, undertakers, or the OCME 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 amends 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). This will enable authorized users of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) System, such as agencies of the City or State of New York, other government bodies, annuity companies, medical providers and attorneys representing estates, to verify facts contained in the Department’s records.

Statutory Authority

             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. 

 “Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this Department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.