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Cancer Registry Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) accepting cancer data for Meaningful Use?

Yes, ADH accepts cancer data from organizations seeking to fulfill their Meaningful Use public health requirement. This data must be in an HL-7 CDA R2 format. For more information, please visit the Cancer Registry Meaningful Use webpage.

2. Which entities in Arkansas should submit cancer data for Meaningful Use? 

Meaningful Use for the cancer registry is applicable to ambulatory facilities that diagnose or treat cancer only. It is not applicable for hospitals.

If you are interested in reporting data to ADH, please complete the registration form.

3. What is the Cancer Registry and how will Meaningful Use reporting improve public health capability to monitor the health of Arkansas?

The Arkansas Central Cancer Registry (ACCR) is a population-based registry whose goal is to collect timely and complete data on all cancer cases diagnosed in the state.

Cancer Registry data are used to identify population at increased risk of cancer, investigate public concerns of suspected excesses of cancer due to environmental or other factors, and monitor trends in cancer incidence and mortality so that appropriate and timely interventions are undertaken.

Recent shifts in cancer treatment away from hospital settings and towards ambulatory healthcare settings are increasing the importance of ambulatory (non-hospital) healthcare providers data for cancer surveillance. As ambulatory healthcare providers adopt modern electronic health record (EHR) systems, the opportunity to automate cancer registry reporting from ambulatory healthcare provider settings is also increasing and becoming more feasible.

4. For which cancer diagnoses do I send data?

Please visit the cancer registry web site for a complete listing of reportable cancers.

5. We are currently sending cancer registry data to public health. Does this reporting meet the Meaningful Use criteria?

While we appreciate our ambulatory healthcare providers sending data via Web Plus or as a formatted registry standard file (or NAACCR file) as required, this does not meet Meaningful Use requirements.

In order to satisfy these criteria, data must be sent from an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) certified Electronic Health Record system to the Arkansas Department of Health using an HL-7 CDA R2 message format which is required for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

For more information about sending Meaningful Use compliant for the cancer registry, please visit  Cancer Registry Meaningful Use webpage.

If your facility decides to retain a registry complemented with certified tumor registrars to abstract quality cancer data we will continue to accept data in an NAACCR formatted file but this will not meet Meaningful Use requirements.

6. What are current standards and guidelines for submitting cancer data?

You can find links to the implementation of cancer registry reporting standards on our on-boarding pages under “Step 2 – Pre-Testing”. These guides serve as a reference for vendors and providers for formatting cancer data from EHR systems.

7. I am a vendor representing several clinics (or facilities). Do we need to complete the on-boarding process for each clinic or facility that we represent?

Yes, the on-boarding process must be completed by (or on behalf of) each entity attesting for Meaningful Use. For more information about how to handle healthcare organizations with multiple facilities or clinics with multiple providers, please refer to the next two questions.

8. Our healthcare organization consists of multiple ambulatory healthcare providers. Does each of our providers need to complete the on-boarding process (e.g. submit an enrollment form and test message) for Meaningful Use?

If all data for your organization is centralized AND cancer registry messages will be generated centrally for all entities in your organization, you only need to complete the on-boarding process once.

In this situation, ADH will require supplemental information (e.g. name, physical address, NPI) be provided for each facility that will be included in your organization’s data feed.

If data from your organization is not held centrally, you can proceed through the initial on-boarding process as though the data are centralized, if:

  • All sites are using the SAME implementation of a single certified electronic health record (EHR) system, AND
  • Variability has not been introduced into the EHR systems as a result of differences in business practices at each site.

ADH will need to test the individual transport mechanism from each site that will be generating and sending messages.

The on-boarding process needs to be completed for each site, if:

  • Data from your organization are not held centrally, AND
  • The EHR system has been modified, or different EHR systems are in use, at one or more sites.

This helps ensure the appropriate level of validation will be conducted.

It is not necessary to complete this process for each individual provider in your organization.

We anticipate there are many scenarios we have not addressed here. If you are still not sure what to do, please contact ADH.CANCER.MU@arkansas.gov  for additional assistance.

9. As a hospital we have ambulatory healthcare providers as part of our organization. Can these providers send cancer data for Meaningful Use?

Yes. While Meaningful Use for cancer data does not apply for hospitals it does apply for all ambulatory facilities even if they are part of a larger organization owned by a hospital.

If a cancer is diagnosed or treated at the hospital itself, however, the hospital must submit cancer data abstracted by a certified tumor registrar (CTR) in an NAACCR formatted file as required by state law (even if treatment is continued at an ambulatory facility). Meaningful Use for cancer data ONLY applies to ambulatory healthcare providers where cancers are diagnosed or treated.

10. Will we be able to complete the on-boarding process during our 90-day reporting period?

The Arkansas Department of Health cannot promise you will be able to complete the on-boarding process during your 90-day reporting period, but you will improve chances of success if you start the process as early as possible (i.e. before the 90-day window begins).

ADH uses a queue system for those interested in submitting cancer data for Meaningful Use. Eligible providers must complete steps 1-3 of the on-boarding process to be placed in the queue. Placement in the queue meets the Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation requirements and will proceed with the remaining steps until production.

11. Will we be notified by the Arkansas Department of Health that we have completed the necessary on-boarding steps required for attestation?

Once you have successfully completed steps 1-3 of the on-boarding process, Arkansas Department of Health will send you a letter via email indicating your placement into the queue. Placement into the queue meets Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation requirements.

12. How do I get started?

Please see the Cancer On-Boarding Instructions.