senate Bill S4668B

Signed By Governor
2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes the electronic death registration system

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Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status Via A7500 - Signed by Governor


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Sep 27, 2013 signed chap.352
Sep 16, 2013 delivered to governor
Jun 21, 2013 returned to assembly
passed senate
3rd reading cal.1607
substituted for s4668b
Jun 21, 2013 substituted by a7500a
ordered to third reading cal.1607
committee discharged and committed to rules
Jun 12, 2013 print number 4668b
amend and recommit to finance
Jun 04, 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
amend and recommit to health
Apr 17, 2013 referred to health

Votes

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Bill Amendments

Original
A
B (Active)
Original
A
B (Active)

S4668 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7500A
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add §4148, amd §§4100-a, 4140, 4141-a, 4142, 4144, 4161 & 4171, Pub Health L

S4668 - Bill Texts

view summary

Establishes the electronic death registration system.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4668

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.

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 provides legislative findings, including a stipulation
that licensed funeral directors and undertakers have expressed their
interest in partnering with the Department of Health (DOH) to support
the establishment and maintenance of an electronic death registration
system through a contribution, tendered for each burial and removal
permit issued, in the amount of twenty dollars.

*Subdivision 2 authorizes and directs 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
fee on each burial and removal permit issued to a licensed funeral
director or undertaker referenced in subdivision 1 shall be used by
the department for costs associated with the electronic death
registration system.

*Subdivision 3 provides that commencing on January 1, 2015, all deaths
occurring within the state must be registered using the electronic
death registration system.

*Subdivision 4 provides that commencing on January 1, 2015, 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 5 provides that commencing on January 1, 2015, a digital
signature may be used to satisfy any signature requirement.

Section 2 adds a new subdivision 5 to subdivision 1 of section 4100-a
of the public health law to include, after January 1, 2015, 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 contribution 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 fee 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.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4668

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

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. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.
THE  LEGISLATURE  FINDS THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO UPDATE AND MODERNIZE THE
STATE'S SYSTEM  OF  FILNG  AND  MAINTAINING  INFORMATION  AND  DOCUMENTS
RELATED  TO  THE REGISTRATION OF DEATH. AN ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION
SYSTEM WILL PROMOTE ACCURACY AND PROVIDE FOR MORE TIMELY TRANSMISSION OF
DOCUMENTATION, PROMOTING EFFICIENCY IN THE OPERATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT,
WHICH OVERSEES THE DEATH REGISTRATION FILING PROCESS; LOCAL  REGISTRARS,
WHICH ACCEPT AND FILE CERTIFICATES OF DEATH AND ISSUE BURIAL AND REMOVAL
PERMITS;  HEALTH  CARE  INSTITUTIONS  AND  PRACTITIONERS,  CORONERS  AND
MEDICAL EXAMINERS, WHICH PREPARE CERTIFICATES  OF  DEATH;  AND  LICENSED
FUNERAL  DIRECTORS AND UNDERTAKERS, WHO REQUIRE PROMPT ACCESS TO CERTIF-
ICATES OF DEATH TO CONDUCT BURIALS AND FUNERALS  IN  A  TIMELY  FASHION.
LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTORS AND UNDERTAKERS HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR INTEREST
IN PARTNERING WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAIN-
TENANCE  OF SUCH SYSTEM THROUGH A CONTRIBUTION, TENDERED FOR EACH BURIAL
AND REMOVAL PERMIT ISSUED TO A LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR OR  UNDERTAKER,
IN THE AMOUNT OF TWENTY DOLLARS.
  2.  THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO DESIGN, IMPLE-
MENT AND MAINTAIN AN ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION SYSTEM  FOR  COLLECT-
ING,  STORING, RECORDING, TRANSMITTING, AMENDING, CORRECTING AND AUTHEN-
TICATING 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  CONTRIB-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10019-01-3

S. 4668                             2

UTION  REFERENCED  IN SUBDIVISION ONE 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  ONE  OF
THIS SECTION.
  3. COMMENCING ON JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR AS SOON THER-
EAFTER AS THE COMMISSIONER REASONABLY DETERMINES IS FEASIBLE IN LIGHT OF
THE  INTENT  OF  THIS  SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL REQUIRE THAT DEATHS
OCCURRING WITHIN THIS STATE MUST  BE  REGISTERED  USING  THE  ELECTRONIC
DEATH  REGISTRATION SYSTEM ESTABLISHED IN THIS SECTION. ELECTRONIC DEATH
REGISTRATION MAY BE PHASED IN, AS DETERMINED BY  THE  COMMISSIONER,  FOR
DEATHS  OCCURRING  IN  THE STATE UNTIL THE ELECTRONIC DEATH REGISTRATION
SYSTEM IS FULLY IMPLEMENTED IN THE STATE.
  4. COMMENCING ON JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH  DATE
DETERMINED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER  PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS
SECTION, 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.
  5. 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 THREE 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.
  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 JANUARY FIRST, TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  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

S. 4668                             3

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 JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND  FIFTEEN  OR  ON  SUCH  DATE
DETERMINED  BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF 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 JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND
FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH DATE DETERMINED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER  PURSUANT  TO
SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF  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 JANUARY FIRST,
TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH DATE  DETERMINED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER
PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT
OF THIS TITLE, SUCH CERTIFICATE OF DEATH SIGNED BY THE ATTENDING  PHYSI-
CIAN  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 acci-
dental, 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,

S. 4668                             4

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 JANUARY FIRST,
TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH DATE  DETERMINED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER
PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION THREE OF 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 JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN,  OR  ON  SUCH  DATE
DETERMINED  BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION
FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE,  INFORMATION  AND  SIGNA-
TURES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE OBTAINED AND MADE IN ACCORD-
ANCE 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 JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR ON SUCH DATE DETER-
MINED BY THE COMMISSIONER  PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF  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

S. 4668                             5

correct  that does not supply all of the items of information called for
therein, or satisfactorily account for their omission.
  S 9. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that the commis-
sioner of health is authorized to promulgate regulations as necessary to
implement the provisions of this act.

Co-Sponsors

S4668A - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7500A
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add §4148, amd §§4100-a, 4140, 4141-a, 4142, 4144, 4161 & 4171, Pub Health L

S4668A - Bill Texts

view summary

Establishes the electronic death registration system.

view sponsor 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.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4668--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10019-02-3

S. 4668--A                          2

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

S. 4668--A                          3

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

S. 4668--A                          4

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.

Co-Sponsors

S4668B (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7500A
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add §4148, amd §§4100-a, 4140, 4141-a, 4142, 4144, 4161 & 4171, Pub Health L

S4668B (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

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Establishes the electronic death registration system.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4668B

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. Further, this subdivision
reaffirms and clarifies that the existing duties of, as well as
remuneration received by, local registrars in accepting and filing
certificates of death and issuing burial and removal permits pursuant
to any statute or regulation shall be maintained, and not altered or
abridged in any way by this act, reflecting the important role of
local registrars to ensure accurate issuance, accounting,
recordkeeping and accessibility for the communities they serve.

* 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.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4668--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. CARLUCCI, SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- commit-
  tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and  recom-
  mitted to said committee -- committee discharged and said bill commit-
  ted  to the Committee on Finance -- committee discharged and said bill
  committed to the Committee on Health -- reported favorably  from  said
  committee  and  committed  to  the  Committee  on Finance -- 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.  AS PART OF THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
OF  THE SYSTEM ESTABLISHED BY THIS SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL CONSULT
WITH ALL PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH SYSTEM TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE
AND FEASIBLE.   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.    EXCEPT  AS  SPECIFICALLY
PROVIDED  IN THIS SECTION, THE EXISTING GENERAL DUTIES OF, AND REMUNERA-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10019-03-3

S. 4668--B                          2

TION RECEIVED BY, LOCAL REGISTRARS IN ACCEPTING AND FILING  CERTIFICATES
OF  DEATH AND ISSUING BURIAL AND REMOVAL PERMITS PURSUANT TO ANY STATUTE
OR REGULATION SHALL BE MAINTAINED, AND NOT ALTERED OR  ABRIDGED  IN  ANY
WAY BY 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:

S. 4668--B                          3

  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

S. 4668--B                          4

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

S. 4668--B                          5

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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