Maryland Register

Issue Date:  October 12, 2018

Volume 45 • Issue 21 • Page 988-989


Title 10 


10.35.01 Medical Examiner Cases

Authority: Health-General Article, §§5-306(e)––5-307, Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action


The Secretary of Health proposes to amend Regulation .19 under COMAR 10.35.01 Medical Examiner Cases.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to update current regulations to meet current practice standards and ensure essential services needed to comply with statutory and regulatory obligations of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Specifically, this proposal increases death scene investigation fees for service to compensate a rate comparable to industry standard.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

I. Summary of Economic Impact. The proposed action increases death scene investigation fees for service to compensate a rate comparable to industry standard.



Revenue (R+/R-)


II. Types of Economic Impact.

Expenditure (E+/E-)




A. On issuing agency:

Death Investigation Fees


FY 2019 $203,083; FY 2020 $296,502

B. On other State agencies:


C. On local governments:

Washington County


FY 2019 $17,580; FY 2020 $25,666



Benefit (+)
Cost (-)




D. On regulated industries or trade groups:


E. On other industries or trade groups:

Forensic Investigator Vendors


FY 2019 $203,083; FY 2020 $296,502

F. Direct and indirect effects on public:

Washington County Residents


FY 2019 $17,580; FY 2020 $25,666

III. Assumptions. (Identified by Impact Letter and Number from Section II.)

A. and E. The proposed action would increase the rate for service paid to Forensic Investigator Vendors by 50 percent from $80 per accepted case to $120 per accepted case. Forensic Investigator Vendors have not had an increase since 2006 when the fee per case increase from $55 to $80. A study of States with similar programs revealed that Forensic Investigator Vendors are paid lower fees for service than death investigators in most other States. Due to increased case volume, increased risk of injury associated with death investigations and low compensation, the OCME has been unable to recruit and retain qualified Forensic Investigator Vendors. Lack of qualified death investigators result in delayed scene response time. These delays have a direct impact on local EMS/police resources as well as the community at large. This increase would assist with the recruitment and retention of Forensic Investigator Vendors.

C. Washington County is the only county in Maryland in which the county matches forensic investigator pay for accepted cases. In FY2018, Washington County had 293 accepted OCME cases costing the State $23,440 and the County $23,440.

F. Washington County matches forensic investigator pay for accepted cases. The funds for this expense likely come from county taxes which are an indirect cost to the public.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Maryland Department of Health, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted through November 13, 2018. A public hearing has not been scheduled.

.19 Deputy Medical Examiners/Forensic Investigators.

A.—D. (text unchanged)

E. Entitled Fees.

(1) As provided in the State budget, for each medical examiner’s case investigated, the deputy medical examiner or forensic investigator is entitled to a fee of [$80$120.

(2)—(3) (text unchanged)

Secretary of Health