Question of the Week
January 28, 2013
What is new in the mandatory reporting requirements to the Tennessee Department of Health (TN DOH) for health care providers?
Each state has the authority to determine a list of conditions that are reportable to public health authorities. While most of these conditions are reported by laboratories, practitioners are required to report as well. Some of the diseases that require reporting are not communicable diseases. There is a matrix on the TN DOH website which lists the requirements. http://health.state.tn.us/ReportableDiseases/Common/Reportable%20Disease%20and%20Events%20Matrix.pdf
There have been a few changes in the Tennessee’s Reportable Diseases and Events list. One of the prominent changes is that clinically diagnosed cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are reportable to the Environmental Epidemiology Program. Documentation of a carboxyhemoglobin level is not required to meet the definition of required reporting. Carbon monoxide poisoning is listed under category 2 which means that a written report using Form PH-1600 must be submitted within one week. Form PH-1600 is a general reporting form that can be downloaded from the TN DOH website. These forms can be sent to the local or regional health department or via FAX to 615-741-3857. http://health.state.tn.us/ReportableDiseases/ReportingForms.aspx/HealthcareProviders
Another new reporting requirement is the diagnosis of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The cases must be reported within the month. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is defined as a “condition in which a baby has withdrawal symptoms after being exposed to certain substances”, which may include medications or illicit substances that the mother used during the pregnancy. There is a specific portal for NAS as opposed to using the PH-1600 form. http://health.tn.gov/MCH/NAS/index.shtml
This question prepared by: Saralyn Williams, MD Medical Toxicologist