HB 242 Modifies provisions related to coroners

     Handler: Wieland

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

SCS/HCS/HB 242 - This act establishes the Coroner Standards and Training Commission within the Department of Health and Senior Services which shall establish training standards relating to the operation, responsibilities and technical skills of the office of county coroner. The membership of the Commission is set forth in the act. The Commission shall establish training standards relating to the office of county coroner and shall issue a report on such standards.

Currently, $1,000 of a county coroner's salary shall only be payable if he or she completes at least 20 hours of classroom instruction each year relating to the operations of the coroner's office when approved by a professional association of county coroners of Missouri. This act provides that the Coroners Standards and Training Commission shall establish and certify such training programs and their completion shall be submitted to the Missouri Coroners' and Medical Examiners' Association. Upon the Association's validation of certified training, it shall then submit the individual's name to the county treasurer and Department of Health and Senior Services indicating his or her compliance.

This act creates the Missouri State Coroner's Training Fund. For any death certificate issued, one dollar of the fee collected shall be a fee deposited into the fund which shall be used by the Missouri Coroners' and Medical Examiners' Association for the purpose of in-state training, equipment, and necessary supplies, and to provide aid to training programs approved by the Missouri Coroners' and Medical Examiners' Association. This fee shall be imposed and collected in addition to all other fees already being imposed and collected on the issuance of death certificates, resulting in the current total fee of thirteen dollars being increased to fourteen dollars. Also, during states of emergency or disasters, local registrars may request reimbursement from the fund for copies of death certificates issued to individuals who are unable to afford the associated fees.

When a death occurs under the care of a hospice, no investigation shall be required, under this act, if the death is certified by the treating physician of the deceased or the medical director of the hospice as a named death due to disease or diagnosed illness. The hospice must give written notice to the coroner or medical examiner within twenty-four hours of the death.

The act specifies that, if a coroner is not current on his or her training, the Department may prohibit that coroner from signing any death certificates. In the event a coroner is unable to sign a death certificate, the county sheriff will appoint a medical professional to attest death certificates until the coroner can resume signing them or until another coroner is appointed or elected.

This act is identical to SS/SCS/SB 34 (2019), SCS/HCS/HB 447 (2019), and similar to SB 1020 (2018).


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