1. A health care provider who initially identifies and diagnoses a spontaneous termination of pregnancy or who induces a termination of pregnancy shall file with the department a report for each termination within thirty days of the occurrence. The health care provider shall make a good faith effort to obtain all of the following information that is available with respect to each termination:
a. The confidential health care provider code as assigned by the department.
b. The report tracking number.
c. The maternal health services region of the Iowa department of public health, as designated as of July 1, 1997, in which the patient resides.
d. The race of the patient.
e. The age of the patient.
f. The marital status of the patient.
g. The educational level of the patient.
h. The number of previous pregnancies, live births, and spontaneous or induced terminations of pregnancies.
i. The month and year in which the termination occurred.
j. The number of weeks since the patient's last menstrual period and a clinical estimate of gestation.
2. It is the intent of the general assembly that the information shall be collected, reproduced, released, and disclosed in a manner specified by rule of the department, adopted pursuant to chapter 17A, which ensures the anonymity of the patient who experiences a termination of pregnancy, the health care provider who identifies and diagnoses or induces a termination of pregnancy, and the hospital, clinic, or other health facility in which a termination of pregnancy is identified and diagnosed or induced. The department may share information with federal public health officials for the purposes of securing federal funding or conducting public health research. However, in sharing the information, the department shall not relinquish control of the information, and any agreement entered into by the department with federal public health officials to share information shall prohibit the use, reproduction, release, or disclosure of the information by federal public health officials in a manner which violates this section. The department shall publish, annually, a demographic summary of the information obtained pursuant to this section, except that the department shall not reproduce, release, or disclose any information obtained pursuant to this section which reveals the identity of any patient, health care provider, hospital, clinic, or other health facility, and shall ensure anonymity in the following ways:
a. The department may use information concerning the report tracking number or concerning the identity of a reporting health care provider, hospital, clinic, or other health facility only for purposes of information collection. The department shall not reproduce, release, or disclose this information for any purpose other than for use in annually publishing the demographic summary under this section.
b. The department shall enter the information, from any report of termination submitted, within thirty days of receipt of the report, and shall immediately destroy the report following entry of the information. However, entry of the information from a report shall not include any health care provider, hospital, clinic, or other health facility identification information including, but not limited to, the confidential health care provider code, as assigned by the department.
c. To protect confidentiality, the department shall limit release of information to release in an aggregate form which prevents identification of any individual patient, health care provider, hospital, clinic, or other health facility. For the purposes of this paragraph, "aggregate form" means a compilation of the information received by the department on termination of pregnancies for each information item listed, with the exceptions of the report tracking number, the health care provider code, and any set of information for which the amount is so small that the confidentiality of any person to whom the information relates may be compromised. The department shall establish a methodology to provide a statistically verifiable basis for any determination of the correct amount at which information may be released so that the confidentiality of any person is not compromised.
3. Except as specified in subsection 2, reports, information, and records submitted and maintained pursuant to this section are strictly confidential and shall not be released or made public upon subpoena, search warrant, discovery proceedings, or by any other means.
4. The department shall assign a code to any health care provider who may be required to report a termination under this section. An application procedure shall not be required for assignment of a code to a health care provider.
5. A health care provider shall assign a report tracking number which enables the health care provider to access the patient's medical information without identifying the patient.
6. To ensure proper performance of the reporting requirements under this section, it is preferred that a health care provider who practices within a hospital, clinic, or other health facility authorize one staff person to fulfill the reporting requirements.
7. For the purposes of this section, "health care provider" means an individual licensed under chapter 148, 148C, 148D, 150, 150A, or 152, or any individual who provides medical services under the authorization of the licensee.
8. For the purposes of this section, "inducing a termination of pregnancy" means the use of any means to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with the intent other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.
9. For the purposes of this section, "spontaneous termination of pregnancy" means the occurrence of an unintended termination of pregnancy at any time during the period from conception to twenty weeks gestation and which is not a spontaneous termination of pregnancy at any time during the period from twenty weeks or greater which is reported to the department as a fetal death under this chapter.
97 Acts, ch 172, §1
Referred to in § 144.52, 331.611
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© 1999 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
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