Hospitals fight penalties for delaying reports of cancer cases to state

The Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) is fighting a proposed penalty that would charge hospitals as much as $1,000 a day for delaying reports of cancer cases to the state's tumor registry. CHA says that while it understands the importance of the tumor registry and recognizes "the need for compliance," the new rules would "impose fines that are not commensurate with the situation."

According to the state, hospitals lack incentive to comply with state reporting regulations. The new penalty is designed to urge facilities to report cancer cases in a timely manner.

According to state public health officials, the current Connecticut statutes lack authorizing language for the Connecticut Tumor Registry to address the failure of health care providers to provide appropriate records to the registry. "To ensure complete and timely surveillance of cancer incidence in the state of Connecticut, revisions to the statutes would provide the department authority to enforce reporting deadlines, says William Gerrish, a Connecitcut health department spokesman.

Connecticut state law requires all hospitals and private pathology laboratories to report cancer diagnoses to the registry. The tumor registry maintains a database of all cancers diagnosed in the state since 1935 and also tracks follow-up, treatment and survival data.

To learn more:
- here's The Journal Inquirer story