1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Bean
Senate Bill 2166
AN ACT TO CODIFY SECTION 41-21-205, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ESTABLISH A BIRTH DEFECTS REGISTRY IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO ADOPT RULES TO GOVERN THE OPERATION OF THE REGISTRY PROGRAM; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT CERTAIN INVESTIGATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following provision shall be codified as Section 41-21-205, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-21-205. (1) The State Board of Health shall establish in the State Department of Health a program to:
(a) Identify and investigate birth defects; and
(b) Maintain a central registry of cases of birth defects.
(2) The department shall design the registry program so that it will:
(a) Provide information to identify risk factors and causes of birth defects;
(b) Provide information on other possible causes of birth defects;
(c) Provide for the development of strategies to prevent birth defects;
(d) Provide for interview studies about the causes of birth defects; and
(e) Provide for the collection of birth defect information.
(3) The board shall adopt rules, regulations and procedures to govern the operation of the registry program and to carry out the intent of this section.
(4) The board in its rules and regulations shall specify the types of information to be provided to the birth defects registry and the persons and entities who are required to provide such information to the birth defects registry.
(5) The board by rule shall prescribe the manner in which records and other information are made available to the department.
(6) The department may obtain records and/or test results of individuals not reported or observed to have a birth defect reported to the department at a later date.
(7) The following persons who act in compliance with this section are not civilly or criminally liable for furnishing the information required hereunder:
(a) A hospital, clinical laboratory, genetic treatment center or other health care facility;
(b) An administrator, officer or employee of a hospital, clinical laboratory, genetic treatment center or other health care facility; and
(c) A physician or employee of a physician.
(8) Information collected and analyzed by the department under this section shall be placed in a central registry to facilitate research and to maintain security.
(a) Data obtained under this section directly from the medical records of a patient is for the confidential use of the department and the persons or public or private entities that the department determines are necessary to carry out the intent of this section. The data is privileged and may not be divulged or made public in a manner that discloses the identity of an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data under this section.
(b) Information that may identify an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data under this section is not available for public inspection under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
(c) Statistical information collected under this section is public information.
(9) The department may use the registry to:
(a) Investigate the causes of birth defects and other health conditions as authorized by statute;
(b) Design and evaluate measures to prevent the occurrence of birth defects, and other conditions; and
(c) Conduct other investigations and activities necessary for the board and the department to fulfill their obligation to protect the public health.
(10) Any person or entity who misuses the information provided to the registry shall be subject to a civil penalty of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each such failure or misuse. Such penalty shall be assessed and levied by the board after a hearing, and all such penalties collected shall be deposited into the State General Fund.
(11) The State Health Officer may appoint or delegate his authority for the purposes of this section to an advisory committee, not to exceed ten (10) persons, to assist in the design and implementation of this central registry with representation from relevant groups including, but not limited to, physicians, board-certified clinical geneticists, personnel of the department, personnel of other appropriate state agencies, disabled persons (resulting from a birth defect) and parents of disabled children (resulting from a birth defect). Should a central registry advisory committee be created by the State Health Officer, the board shall consult and be advised by the committee on the promulgation of rules, regulations and procedures for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.