Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 601

    January Session, 2017

Substitute Senate Bill No. 37

Senate, April 13, 2017

The Committee on Public Health reported through SEN. GERRATANA of the 6th Dist. and SEN. SOMERS of the 18th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ACCREDITATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 19a-403 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is established to be operated under the control and supervision of the commission. The expenses of the commission and of operating [said] the office shall be paid by the state out of funds appropriated for the purpose. The office shall be directed by a Chief Medical Examiner who shall be appointed by the commission. [His] The office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall be located at a medical school in this state. Not later than January 1, 2018, the office shall maintain full accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners. The Chief Medical Examiner or any member of the professional staff of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who is summoned to give expert testimony in a civil action in his or her capacity as the Chief Medical Examiner or a member of the office shall be allowed and paid a witness fee of five hundred dollars for each day or portion thereof the Chief Medical Examiner or such staff member is required to attend court. Such fee shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the action and be paid by the party requesting the appearance, and any such fee received shall be deposited in the General Fund except no fee shall be imposed if the requesting party is the state.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

19a-403(a)

PH

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Med. Examiner, Off.

GF - Cost

429,250

539,000

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Cost

125,378

167,171

TOTAL

GF - Cost

554,628

706,171

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) maintain full accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), which results in a state cost $554,628 in FY 18 and $706,171 in FY 19. This reflects partial-year funding (nine months) in FY 18 and annualized funding in FY 19 for two forensic pathologists (annual salaries of $190,000 each) and one IT Analyst I (annual salary of $59,000), as well as Other Expenses account funding ($100,000 in both years). The Other Expenses account primarily supports expenses for laboratory services and testing, body transportation, and medical supplies. The State Comptroller fringe benefit cost for these positions is $125,378 in FY 18 and $167,171 in FY 19.

OCME has been downgraded to provisional status by NAME. The agency has until September 2017 to show sufficient progress in correcting deficiencies to be eligible for full re-accreditation. Currently, there are seven OCME forensic pathologists. The average pathologist caseload has risen from approximately 243 autopsies/pathologist in 2014 to approximately 337/pathologist in 2016. There is one filled Informational Technology (IT) Analyst II position. Positions are reflected to address deficiencies related to inadequate staffing.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation and agency caseloads.

Sources:

Deficiency Hearing Testimony, 4/10/2017

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB-37

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ACCREDITATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to maintain full accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners by January 1, 2018.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/27/2017)

TOP

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 38.08% of payroll in FY 18 and FY 19.