The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced in All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-25 that it will require general acute care hospitals to report specified patient level discharge information for each hospitalized person who tests positive for COVID-19. The purpose of this is to enable CDPH to better understand breakthrough COVID-19 cases.
This is a weekly reporting requirement, that will begin Tuesday, July 27.
CDPH cites its authority under state regulations to require hospitals to provide these data on COVID-19. It additionally notes that both HIPAA (45 C.F.R. Sec. 512(b)) and the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civil Code 56.10(c)(18)) permit hospitals to disclose patient-identifiable information to public health authorities.
Using the Excel template provided in the AFL, data should be reported each Tuesday for discharged COVID-19-positive patients whose discharge diagnosis coding was completed in the prior week. Data reported to CDPH should be sent via Secure File Transfer Protocol.
For the first data submission on July 27, CDPH is asking hospitals to voluntarily submit 30 days of data, instead of the required seven days. Additional details are contained in the AFL. Any questions can be directed to CDPH at its CalREDIE Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.