October 12, 2018
45 • Issue 21 • Page 988-989
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
35 POSTMORTEM EXAMINERS COMMISSION
Medical Examiner Cases
Article, §§5-306(e)––5-307, Annotated Code of Maryland
The Secretary of Health
proposes to amend Regulation .19 under COMAR 10.35.01
Medical Examiner Cases.
The purpose of this action
is to update current regulations to meet current practice standards and ensure
essential services needed to comply with statutory and regulatory obligations
of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Specifically, this proposal
increases death scene investigation fees for service to compensate a rate
comparable to industry standard.
to Federal Standards
There is no corresponding
federal standard to this proposed action.
of Economic Impact
I. Summary of Economic
proposed action increases death scene investigation fees for service to
compensate a rate comparable to industry standard.
II. Types of Economic Impact.
A. On issuing agency:
Death Investigation Fees
FY 2019 $203,083; FY 2020 $296,502
B. On other State agencies:
C. On local governments:
FY 2019 $17,580; FY 2020 $25,666
D. On regulated industries or trade groups:
E. On other industries or trade groups:
Forensic Investigator Vendors
F. Direct and indirect effects on public:
Washington County Residents
III. Assumptions. (Identified by Impact Letter and Number from Section
A. and E. The proposed action would
increase the rate for service paid to Forensic Investigator Vendors by 50
percent from $80 per accepted case to $120 per accepted case. Forensic
Investigator Vendors have not had an increase since 2006 when the fee per case
increase from $55 to $80. A study of States with similar programs revealed
that Forensic Investigator Vendors are paid lower fees for service than death
investigators in most other States. Due to increased case volume, increased
risk of injury associated with death investigations and low compensation, the
OCME has been unable to recruit and retain qualified Forensic Investigator
Vendors. Lack of qualified death investigators result in delayed scene
response time. These delays have a direct impact on local EMS/police
resources as well as the community at large. This increase would assist with
the recruitment and retention of Forensic Investigator Vendors.
C. Washington County is the only
county in Maryland in which the county matches forensic investigator pay for
accepted cases. In FY2018, Washington County had 293 accepted OCME cases
costing the State $23,440 and the County $23,440.
F. Washington County matches forensic
investigator pay for accepted cases. The funds for this expense likely come
from county taxes which are an indirect cost to the public.
Impact on Small Businesses
The proposed action has
minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.
Individuals with Disabilities
The proposed action has no
impact on individuals with disabilities.
for Public Comment
Comments may be sent to
Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination,
Maryland Department of Health, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD
21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted
through November 13, 2018. A public hearing has not been scheduled.
Deputy Medical Examiners/Forensic Investigators.
A.—D. (text unchanged)
E. Entitled Fees.
(1) As provided in the State budget, for each
medical examiner’s case investigated, the deputy medical examiner or forensic
investigator is entitled to a fee of [$80] $120.
(2)—(3) (text unchanged)
ROBERT R. NEALL
Secretary of Health
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464