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Further Information Regarding EDRS Regulation Change as of 11.14.17

Published: December 5, 2017 by Donna Moore, Georgia State Registrar

Further Information Regarding EDRS Regulation Change as of 11.14.17

Disposition Permits
* The law (Title 31) has always said that the local county registrar issues disposition permits. 
* The regulation change as of 11.14.17 clarifies the requirement that a local registrar issues a disposition permit only when the cause of death has been certified by the physician OR the county coroner/ME has given their permission to do so. 
* A disposition permit is required for 3 situations: cremation, donation, and transit across state lines. We don't want a local county registrar issuing a permit for a cremation, donation, or shipping a body out of state if the coroner is involved and hasn't given permission or if the funeral home has not secured the cause of death from either the attending physician in a hospital or the decedent's personal physician.
* A funeral director can get a disposition permit from a local registrar IF 1) cause of death has been certified by the physician, or 2) the county coroner/medical examiner has given approval. 
* This change protects the decedent and the decedent's family from a hasty or rushed cremation or transit across state lines if the coroner has not completed their work. It also stops the local registrar from being culpable in the situation of giving funeral homes advanced disposition permits for their use. 

Physicians Certifying Cause of Death Electronically
* Death registration is a 3-step process: funeral home documents the demographic info for the decedent, physician certifies cause of death, and the local county registrar registers the record
* 95% of funeral homes do their step electronically, and 100% of local registrars do their step electronically
* Today, about 30% of physicians certify cause of death electronically in our system; the remaining 70% do so on "paper" when the funeral home brings a paper copy to them for signature
* Nationwide, the best practice is to have the complete process electronic
* The regulation change as of 11.14.17 says that a physician must certify cause of death electronically in our system within 3 days
* There are 35k physicians in Georgia, however we are targeting the 300 that certify 50% of the death records, and 1600 physicians that certify 80% of the records
* Those top 300 physicians are known to us and will be getting a letter from the Commissioner informing them of the law and giving them their USERID, password, and pin; shortly after their letter goes out, my regional training team will be contacting these physicians to set up training either via webinar or via face-to-face
* Bottom line - the regulation requires electronic certification for all that records, but we are targeting those who do it most often - we won't get the physician who certifies 1 or 2 records a year

Communications for the 11.14.17 EDRS changes went to all 159 local registrars, coroners, medical examiners, and funeral homes. We know we can't say it once, so we are saying it many times in many different ways to our external stakeholders.

Donna L. Moore, MBA, PMP, CLSSBB
State Registrar & Director - Vital Records 
Chief Strategy Officer
Georgia Department of Public Health

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AGEG Board Members at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service

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AGEG Board Members at Ogeechee Technical College

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