Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
3/25/2019

Article 8.1. Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System.

§ 32.1-69.1. Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System.

A. In order to collect data to evaluate the possible causes of stillbirths and birth defects, improve the diagnosis and treatment of birth defects and establish a mechanism for informing the parents of children identified as having birth defects and their physicians about the health resources available to aid such children, the Commissioner shall establish and maintain a Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System using data from birth and death certificates and fetal death reports filed with the State Registrar of Vital Records and data obtained from hospital medical records. The chief administrative officer of every hospital, as defined in § 32.1-123, shall make or cause to be made a report to the Commissioner of any stillbirth and any person under two years of age diagnosed as having a congenital anomaly. The Commissioner may appoint an advisory committee to assist in the design and implementation of this reporting and education system with representation from relevant groups including, but not limited to, physicians, geneticists, personnel of appropriate state agencies, persons with disabilities and the parents of children with disabilities.

B. The Commissioner shall provide for a secure system, which may include online data entry that protects the confidentiality of data and information for which reporting is required, to implement the Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System.

At a minimum, data collected shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (i) the infant's first and last name, date of birth, gender, state of residence, birth hospital, physician's name, date of admission, date of discharge or transfer, and diagnosis; (ii) the first and last names of the infant's mother and father; (iii) the first and last name of the primary contact person for the infant; and (iv) data pertaining to stillbirths and birth defects reported by hospitals and derived from birth and death certificates and fetal death reports filed with the State Registrar of Vital Records and such other sources as may be authorized by the Commissioner.

The Commissioner, as he deems necessary to facilitate the follow-up of infants whose data and health record information have been entered into the system, may authorize the integration or linking of the Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System with other Department of Health population-based surveillance systems.

In addition, to minimize duplication and ensure accuracy during data entry, the Commissioner may authorize hospitals required to report stillbirth and birth defect data to the system to view such existing data and information as may be designated by the Commissioner.

With the assistance of the advisory committee, the Board shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement this reporting and education system.

C. As used in this section, "stillbirth" means an unintended, intrauterine fetal death occurring after a gestational period of 20 weeks.

1985, c. 273; 1986, c. 136; 1988, cc. 459, 843; 1994, c. 854; 2006, cc. 699, 906; 2015, c. 661.

§ 32.1-69.1:1. Dissemination of information regarding birth defects.

The Commissioner shall develop a publication concerning the role of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects for distribution to physicians, hospitals and other medical facilities, and local health departments for use with patients. The publication shall be distributed by the Virginia Department of Health to the offices of the clerks of the circuit courts and made available to applicants for marriage licenses.

1999, c. 582; 2012, c. 802.

§ 32.1-69.2. Confidentiality of records; publication; authority of Commissioner to contact parents and physicians.

The Commissioner and all other persons to whom data is submitted pursuant to § 32.1-69.1 shall keep such information confidential. For the purpose of only complying with the provisions of § 32.1-69.1, hospitals required to report stillbirths, as defined in § 32.1-69.1, and birth defects to the Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System and provide patient follow-up may view personally identifiable information in the system as approved by the Commissioner and upon receipt by the Commissioner of sworn affirmation from each such person that the confidentiality of the information will be preserved. No publication of information shall be made except in the form of statistical or other studies which do not identify individuals. However, the Commissioner may contact the parents of children identified as having birth defects and their physicians to collect relevant data and to provide them with information about available public and private health care resources.

1985, c. 273; 2006, cc. 699, 906; 2015, c. 661.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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