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Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR)

Non Hospital Reporting

Physician Reporting

All cases of cancer diagnosed or treated by any health care facility or heath care practitioner in Pennsylvania are required to be reported to the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR). Reporting cancer cases is required by state law and disease-reporting regulations.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows for the reporting of identifiable cancer data to public health entities. Because the PCR falls under the definition of a public health entity, HIPAA allows facilities to report data to the PCR in compliance with Pennsylvania state laws and regulations. Written informed consent from each cancer patient reported to public health entities is not required under HIPAA

Recent shifts in cancer diagnosis and treatment away from hospitals towards ambulatory healthcare settings are increasing the importance of ambulatory (non-hospital) healthcare providers’ data for cancer surveillance. Reporting to the PCR by physicians addresses current underreporting of certain types of treatment (e.g., radiation therapy), and cancers that are primarily seen in an outpatient setting (e.g., hematopoietic, early stage melanoma, prostate, colorectal, and breast cancers).

Options for physician reporting include: