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“Meaningful Use” Submission of Cancer Data

Included in the strategies for demonstrating Meaningful Use of EHR systems is the submission of cancer case reports. This objective applies only to Eligible Professionals (EP).

The Virginia General Assembly established the Virginia Cancer Registry (VCR) in 1990 (Code of Virginia §32.1-70). The law requires Virginia hospitals, clinics, independent pathology laboratories, and physicians who diagnose or treat cancer to report case information to VCR. The Virginia Board of Health defines reportable cancers, the information required in reports, and the structure and content of case data. The Board publishes cancer reporting regulations in its Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control.

Exclusions: EPs who do not diagnose or treat cancer patients may claim an exclusion from cancer reporting.

Inclusions: Only EPs who diagnose or treat cancer patients may choose the cancer reporting menu option for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.   EPs who intend to transmit cancer data must use electronic health record (EHR) software that is certified for cancer reporting.  Click this link: Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) to see the software certified for reporting cancer data to public health authorities.  Hospitals, clinics, and independent pathology laboratories already report electronically, and use methods that EPs do not use.

Please note: Hospitals, clinics, and independent pathology laboratories must continue traditional reporting practices.

Onboarding Process for Cancer Messages

To meet the Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 cancer reporting objective, Eligible Professionals (EP) must register and complete all steps in the on-boarding process. Providers registered in the VDH Meaningful Use Registration System will receive acknowledgement of the VDH MU status they have achieved at the end of their reporting period. Statuses include Registered, Invited to Onboard, Testing and Validation, and In Production.

Click on each step below to learn more.

1 Registration: Eligible Professional (EP) registers intent to submit cancer data for MU.
  • Register using the VDH MU Registration System.
  • VDH will provide acknowledgement of successful registration. Your MU status will be “Registered.”
  • EPs can schedule a planning call with VDH at their discretion.
2 Message Structure Validation: EP creates cancer messages using defined structure for VDH staff to validate. The message contains test data.
3 Connectivity: EP sets up transport option with public health.
4 Message Content Validation: EP submits cancer messages using defined content standards for VDH staff to validate. Message contains actual patient data.
  • Work with VDH staff to develop messages with content that meets established content standards.
  • Submit test messages.
  • Messages contain actual (production) data.
  • Incorporate feedback from VDH to refine message content to meet Meaningful Use and VDH requirements.
5 Production: EP initiates ongoing submission of cancer data and participates in periodic quality assurance activities.
  • Initiate regular production transmission of cancer messages to VDH. Your MU status will be updated from “Testing and Validation” to “In Production.”
  • Incorporate VDH feedback as necessary to ensure quality of data.
  • VDH will provide the EP an e-mail communication acknowledging ongoing data transmission for the attestation period when this step is completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are cancer message Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) specifications published?

  • They are available through the CDC. The Implementation Guide for Ambulatory Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Release 1.0 is available by download from the CDC.

Can I use public health messages to communicate directly with patients?

Cancer reporting is restricted to communicating information directly between Eligible Professionals (EP) and public health entities only. Providers cannot use the VDH messaging system to communicate with patients. VDH cannot use the system to communicate with patients.

Are pharmacies that dispense cancer medicines included?

No, Virginia law and regulation requires only Eligible Professionals who diagnose or treat cancer patients to provide reports to the health department.

Can I claim an exclusion from cancer reporting if I neither diagnose nor treat cancer?

Yes, you may claim this exclusion if you are an eligible professional but do not diagnose or treat cancer.

How do I find out if our EHR system meets cancer reporting certification requirements?

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) web site, , lists cancer reporting products that are certified.

VDH Cancer Reporting Contacts:

Cancer Registry:
Jim Martin


Last Updated: 01-06-2015

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