Reporting of Deaths and Vital Statistics (Articles 205 and 207)
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)
Statement of Basis and Purpose
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 New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority.
Background and New Requirements
Currently all facilities in the City of New York that report 25 or more deaths per year, including hospitals, hospices, funeral homes and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, must submit reports of death to the Department electronically. This system of electronic death registration enables reporting of 94% of all deaths in New York City. In order to increase the number of deaths reported electronically, the Department proposes:
- To require that all hospitals and hospices reporting ten or more deaths per year (reduced from 25) report them electronically;
- To require that skilled nursing facilities reporting ten or more deaths per year also submit reports of death electronically;
- To require that all facilities that voluntarily report deaths electronically continue to do so;
- To eliminate the fee currently charged for both processing interim disposition permits and for correcting a final disposition as a result of an interim disposition.
The new requirements will increase the number of deaths reported electronically each year. Furthermore, the elimination of fees charged for both filing interim disposition permits and correcting the final disposition as a result of an interim disposition will encourage filing of interim disposition permits. Currently, charging these fees discourages funeral directors from filing interim disposition permits, which results in delayed reporting of deaths.
At its meeting on December 9, 2014, the Board adopted a resolution that included amendments to Section 207.13 of Article 207 of the Health Code, which is also proposed to be amended below. The amendments proposed below reflect Article 207 of the Health Code as it exists at the time this proposal was approved for publication, and do not yet reflect the changes approved for adoption on December 9, 2014.