All cases of cancer diagnosed or treated by any health care facility or heath care practitioner in Pennsylvania are required to be reported to the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR). Reporting cancer cases is required by
state law and disease-reporting regulations.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows for the reporting of identifiable cancer data to public health entities. Because the PCR falls under the definition of a public health entity, HIPAA allows facilities to report data to the PCR in compliance with Pennsylvania state laws and regulations. Written informed consent from each cancer patient reported to public health entities is not required under HIPAA
Recent shifts in cancer diagnosis and treatment away from hospitals towards ambulatory healthcare settings are increasing the importance of ambulatory (non-hospital) healthcare providers' data for cancer surveillance. Reporting to the PCR by physicians addresses current underreporting of certain types of treatment (e.g., radiation therapy), and cancers that are primarily seen in an outpatient setting (e.g., hematopoietic, early stage melanoma, prostate, colorectal, and breast cancers).
Options for physician reporting include:
Reporting through electronic health record (EHR) technology
The use of electronic health record (EHR) technology provides a secure, automated, and unobtrusive reporting method and removes the burden to manually identify and report required information. Each record transmitted using EHR technology must conform to standards specified in the
Implementation Guide for Ambulatory Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries, August 2012 (referred to as the Cancer Implementation Guide) and the additional documentation/clarifications found in the
Cancer Reporting Clarification Document for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology Certification.
Reporting through certified EHR technology is required for Meaningful Use (MU) cancer reporting. Physicians interested in reporting through EHR technology but not pursuing MU objectives should contact the PCR by
Other reporting options are currently under development. Physicians interested in discussing other reporting options should contact the PCR by