The public health system depends upon disease reporting as a way to monitor the health of the community and guide preventive actions. Community teamwork makes it possible to identify outbreaks and epidemics; direct prevention, education, and treatment programs; increase efficient use of scarce resources; and evaluate long term disease control efforts.
Who Needs to Report
Physicians, clinical laboratories, primary and secondary schools, childcare centers, and camps are required by law to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of any disease, condition or infection identified in the Michigan Communicable Disease Rules. However, anyone, not just health or school personnel, can report an infectious disease to the Health Department.
Reporting helps us identify needs, target interventions with individuals and groups, recommend treatment, and initiate actions to prevent spread of infection. We value your partnership and expertise.
What and When to Report
Please refer to the Chart of Reportable Diseases in Michigan ( http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Reportable_Disease_Chart_2005_122678_7.pdf) for a concise list of what must be reported. The chart also includes a list of contacts for each local county Health Department.
How to Report
Communicable disease reports may be made by phone, confidential fax, data entry at secure online sites, letter, or in person. To the extent available, a report must contain the following information:
The patient's full name;
The patient's residential address, including street, city, village or township, county, and zip code;
The patient's telephone number;
The patient's date of birth (or age) and sex;
The name of the disease, infection, or condition reported and date of onset if known;
The specific laboratory test (if tested), date performed, where performed, and results;
The name and address of the reporting facility;
The nature of the confirmed or suspected disease, infection, or condition; and
The approximate number of cases, onset dates, and location, in the event of an outbreak.
Communicable Disease Reporting Is Exempt from HIPAA
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that regulates the sharing of confidential medical information, does not apply to the reporting of communicable diseases and immunizations to local and state public health departments. Legislation exempts such reporting because the reports are mandated within the Michigan Public Health Code, and are used for surveillance and prevention of communicable disease. This means written patient consent is not required for these types of reporting.
CD Reporting Resources
The following links provide more information about the Who’s, Why’s, What’s, When’s and How’s of reporting.
- The Health Care Professional’s Guide to Disease Reporting in Michigan
- MDCH CD Reporting and Requisition Forms, Investigation Guidance, and Rules and Regulations
- DHHS HIPAA Information
- CDC HIPAA Information