NOTICE: Please read the reporting requirements below to understand what you are responsible for, before continuing to the actual form.
Senate Bill 1469 (SB 1469), which became effective on June 17, 2005, excludes hospitals from the definition of institutions, and therefore hospitals are no longer required to report deaths to the Office of the Attorney General.
Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), which became effective on September 1, 2003, was designed to promote the timely reporting of certain deaths to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The OAG will receive reports of deaths of individuals under the care, custody, or control of or residing in nursing and long-term care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded (ICMFRs), assisted living facilities (ALFs), and any other place where health care services are rendered.
Current law states that "If a person dies in a hospital or other institution and an attending physician is unable to certify the cause of death, the superintendent or general manager of the hospital or institution shall report the death to the Justice of the Peace of the precinct where the hospital or institution is located." (Article 49.04, Section C , Texas Code of Criminal Procedure). Senate Bill 826, which affects two articles of the code of criminal procedure (49.24 and 49.25) and one section of the penal code (38.19), is a means of having the same information from Article 49.04, plus an investigative report conducted by the facility, communicated to the OAG. This will allow for a faster investigative response on the part of the Office of the Attorney General. More simply put, information which superintendents and general managers have been required to transmit to Justices of the Peace on certain deaths, must now also go to the OAG. Senate Bill 1469, effective June 17, 2005, subsequently eliminated the requirement for hospitals to report applicable deaths to the Office of the Attorney General.
Below are the instances when superintendents and general managers of facilities which report to Justices of the Peace must report deaths to the OAG pursuant to Article 49.04, Code of Criminal Procedure:
If a death occurs in a facility pursuant to Art. 49.04 and an attending physician is able to certify the cause of death, there is not a requirement that the facility report the death to the Justice of the Peace and consequently to the Office of the Attorney General; nor must they conduct and submit a report containing facts relevant to the death.
Superintendents and general managers do not have to report every death that occurs in their facilities to the OAG.
Article 49.25 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was amended to include the words, "or general manager" so that the terms "superintendent or general manager are used consistently in both article 49.24 and 49.25. The new subsection "c" of Article 49.25 requires that superintendents/general managers report to the Office of the Attorney General, any deaths (and must also submit a report with facts of the death) in instances in which the death is reportable under Section 6 (a) of Article 49.25, Code of Criminal Procedure, entitled "Death Investigations."
The following are the instances in which superintendents and general managers of facilities which report to Medical Examiners must report deaths in their facilities to the OAG pursuant to Article 49.25, Code of Criminal Procedure;
An "attending physician" is defined by the Texas Administrative Code (Title 40, Part 1, Chapter 19, Sub-chapter B, Section 19.101) as, "A physician, currently licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, who is designated by the resident or responsible party as having primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the resident." Often, a facility resident will designate the facility's medical director as their attending physician. In other instances the patient will designate their own personal physician as their "attending physician."
SB 826, by creating a new Article 49.24, Code of Criminal Procedure, mandates that notification of such a person's death must be made to the OAG within 24 hours of the person's death. Furthermore, it mandates that the facility prepare and submit to the office of the Attorney General, a report containing all facts relevant to the individual's death within 72 hours of the death. Procedures are in place to have affected facilities report the required information by fax or email.
The Texas Penal Code, Section 38.19, has been amended with the passage of SB 826 and now states, "A superintendent or general manager of an institution commits an offense if, as required by article 49.24 or 49.25, Code of Criminal Procedure, the person fails to provide notice of an individual under the care, custody, or control of or residing in the institution, the person fails to submit a report on the death of the individual; or fails to include in the report material facts known or discovered by the person at the time the report was filed." An offense under this section is a Class "B" misdemeanor.
The following forms are meant to assist and ease applicable institutions to comply with the requirements outlined above.
If you are required to report a death, please use the forms below. The ability to report resident deaths online is temporarily unavailable. Please know that you can print and complete the appropriate form below and fax it to MFCU at (512) 320-0974 or scan and email it to email@example.com.