State Of Iowa Iowa Department Of Public Health Certificate Of Death


June 7, 2011
Revised death certificate effective July 1
DES MOINES, IA – Iowa physicians are being advised that the Iowa Department of Public
Health will be using a revised certificate of death, effective July 1, to conform with new
legislation recently signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad.
The legislation, which was approved by the General Assembly earlier this year, allows
physician assistants (PA) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP), in addition to
medical physicians (MD) and osteopathic physicians (DO), to certify the cause of death.
Revisions to the certificate are:
Box 26 (Name of person pronouncing death) – Parentheses were added to remind
the user that only the following professional titles may be listed – MD, DO, PA,
ARNP, RN (registered nurse), LPN (licensed practical nurse).
• Box 31b (If yes, medical examiner contacted) – Revised from a yes/no option to a
blank space for the medical examiner case number to be entered if “yes,” the medical
examiner was contacted.
• Box 34 (Autopsy findings available) – The words “if yes” were added in the label.
• Box 45 (Certifier) – The first box now says “Certifying MD, DO, PA, ARNP” to
conform with the new law and the second box now has “MD, DO” added after the
words “medical examiner.”
The revised certificate (see sample below) and instructions are available at this website:
The Iowa Department of Public Health began using a new certificate on January 1,
incorporating standards developed by the National Center for Health Statistics.
State law requires the certificate to be completed promptly so that families can close out the
estate of the deceased person and begin to settle business and personal affairs.


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