Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 2. Disease Prevention and Control
8/5/2021

Article 9. Statewide Cancer Registry.

§ 32.1-70. Information from hospitals, clinics, certain laboratories and physicians supplied to Commissioner; statewide cancer registry.

A. Each hospital, clinic and independent pathology laboratory shall make available to the Commissioner or his agents information on patients having malignant tumors or cancers. A physician shall report information on patients having cancers unless he has determined that a hospital, clinic or in-state pathology laboratory has reported the information. This reporting requirement shall not apply to basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Such information shall include the name, address, sex, race, diagnosis and any other pertinent identifying information regarding each such patient and shall include information regarding possible exposure to Agent Orange or other defoliants through their development, testing or use or through service in the Vietnam War. Each hospital, clinic, independent pathology laboratory, or physician shall provide other available clinical information as defined by the Board of Health.

B. From such information the Commissioner shall establish and maintain a statewide cancer registry. The purpose of the statewide cancer registry shall include but not be limited to:

1. Determining means of improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

2. Determining the need for and means of providing better long-term, follow-up care of cancer patients.

3. Conducting epidemiological analyses of the incidence, prevalence, survival, and risk factors associated with the occurrence of cancer in Virginia.

4. Collecting data to evaluate the possible carcinogenic effects of environmental hazards including exposure to dioxin and the defoliant, Agent Orange.

5. Collecting data to evaluate potential links between exposure to fire incidents and cancer incidence.

6. Improving rehabilitative programs for cancer patients.

7. Assisting in the training of hospital personnel.

8. Determining other needs of cancer patients and health personnel.

Code 1950, § 32-388; 1950, p. 187; 1978, c. 792; 1979, c. 711; 1988, cc. 447, 459, 843; 1998, c. 315; 2018, c. 459.

§ 32.1-70.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1998, c. 315.

§ 32.1-70.2. Collection of cancer case information by the Commissioner.

A. Using such funds as may be appropriated therefor, the Commissioner or his designee may perform on-site data collection of the records of patients having malignant tumors or cancers at those consenting hospitals, clinics, independent pathology laboratories and physician offices required to report information of such patients pursuant to the reporting requirements of § 32.1-70, in order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the statewide cancer registry.

B. The selection criteria for determining which consenting hospitals, clinics, independent pathology laboratories and physician offices may be subject to on-site data collection under the provisions of this section shall include, but shall not be limited to: (i) expected annual number of cancer case reports, (ii) historical completeness and accuracy of reporting rates, and (iii) whether the facility maintains its own cancer registry.

C. The Board of Health shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

2000, cc. 74, 139.

§ 32.1-71. Confidential nature of information supplied; publication; reciprocal data-sharing agreements.

A. The Commissioner and all persons to whom information is submitted in accordance with § 32.1-70 shall keep such information confidential. Except as authorized by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of § 32.1-41, no release of any such information shall be made except in the form of statistical or other studies which do not identify individual cases.

B. The Commissioner may enter into reciprocal data-sharing agreements with other cancer registries for the exchange of information. Upon the provision of satisfactory assurances for the preservation of the confidentiality of such information, patient-identifying information may be exchanged with other cancer registries which have entered into reciprocal data-sharing agreements with the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 32-389; 1950, p. 187; 1979, c. 711; 1991, c. 319; 2000, cc. 74, 139.

§ 32.1-71.01. Penalties for unauthorized use of statewide cancer registry.

In addition to the remedies provided in § 32.1-27, any person who uses, discloses or releases data maintained in the statewide cancer registry in violation of § 32.1-71 shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each violation, which shall be paid to the general fund.

2000, cc. 74, 139.

§ 32.1-71.02. Notification of cancer patients of statewide cancer registry reporting.

A. Any physician diagnosing a malignant tumor or cancer shall, at such time and in such manner as considered appropriate by such physician, notify each patient whose name and record abstract is required to be reported to the statewide cancer registry pursuant to § 32.1-70 that personal identifying information about him has been included in the registry as required by law. Any physician required to so notify a patient that personal identifying information about him has been included in the cancer registry may, when, in the opinion of the physician, such notice would be injurious to the patient's health or well-being, provide the required notice to the patient's authorized representative or next of kin in lieu of notifying the patient.

B. Upon request to the statewide cancer registry, the patient whose personal identifying information has been submitted to such registry shall have a right to know the identity of the reporter of his information to such registry.

2000, c. 918; 2003, cc. 540, 548.