WSR 20-07-021
[Filed March 6, 2020, 2:40 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 246-492 WAC, Vital statistics data release, the department of health (department) is considering creating a new chapter of rule to: Prescribe the direct and indirect identifiers for birth and fetal death records; establish a formalized procedure for requesting vital records data; and establish fees for data files, analysis, and data requests.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: ESSB 5332 (chapter 148, Laws of 2019).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In 2019, the Washington state legislature passed ESSB 5332, creating chapter 70.58A RCW and replacing chapter 70.58 RCW, governing vital records and the release of vital records data. Section 20 of the bill permits the department to release birth and fetal death record data with direct identifiers for research purposes with approval of the Washington institutional review board; birth and fetal death record data with direct identifiers to government agencies and tribal governments for nonresearch public health work by signing a data sharing agreement; and birth and fetal death data with indirect identifiers and death data with a signed data sharing agreement. Through rule making, the department can establish formalized processes and enforceable standards for releasing vital records data in compliance with the new statute.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Washington state institutional review board regulates human subjects research. The department will coordinate with Washington state institutional review board to develop the proposed rules.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department will use a collaborative rule-making process to develop the proposed rules.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Katitza Holthaus, P.O. Box 47814 Olympia, WA 98504-7814, phone 360-236-4311, fax 360-753-4135, TTY 711, email, website
Additional comments: Interested parties can participate in the drafting of the proposed rule. The department will use existing listserv and other known contact information to inform stakeholders of opportunities to provide input on proposed rule language. To be included on an interested parties list, contact Katitza Holthaus.
March 5, 2020
Jessica Todorovich
Chief of Staff
for John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH