13.0203 Definitions.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 13.0203]

As used in this act, these terms shall be defined as follows:

(1) “Acquire”, “acquired” or “acquisition” means to collect or gain possession or control of.

(2) “Act” means the American Samoa Public Health Act.

(3) “ALJ” means the Office of the Administrative Law Judge.

(4) “Amend”, “amends”, “amendment” means to change without obliterating the original information.

(5) “ASG” means the American Samoa Government.

(6) “Condition of public importance” means a disease, syndrome, symptom, or other threat to public health that is identifiable on an individual or community level and can reasonably be expected to lead to adverse health effects in the community.

(7) “Confidentiality statement” means a written statement dated and signed by an applicable individual, which certifies the individual’s agreement to abide by the privacy and security policy of the department.

(8) “Contact” means an individual who has been identified as having been exposed, or potentially been exposed, to a contagious or possibly contagious disease through another individual or nonhuman source with the contagious or possibly contagious disease.

(9) “Contagious disease” means an infectious disease that affects humans that can be transmitted from individual to individual, animal to animal, or animal to individual.

(10) “Counseling and referral services” or “CRS” means outreach activities for finding contacts to inform them of their possible exposure to contagious diseases and provide counseling, testing, and referral services to prevent the further spread of the disease.

(11) “Court” means any American Samoa court of competent jurisdiction.

(12) “Decontaminate”, “decontaminated”, or “decontamination” means to remove or neutralize chemical, radiological, or biological substances or residues from individuals, buildings, objects, or areas.

(13) “Demonstration project” means a community health center established by the department pursuant to Section 330(e) of the Public Health Services Act, 42 U.S.C. §254b, or other such project initiated to provide community health services in a manner distinctly different from other government community health centers for the purpose of demonstrating improved health benefits to the Territory.

(14) “Department” means the Department of Health.

(15) “Director” means the Director of the Department of Health.

(16) “Disclose”, “disclosed” or “disclosure” means to release, transfer, disseminate, provide access to, or otherwise communicate or divulge all or any part of.

(17) “Disease outbreak” means the sudden and rapid increase in the number of cases of a disease or other condition of public health importance in a population.

(18) “Epidemic” means the occurrence in a community or region of a condition or group of similar conditions of public health importance that are in excess of normal expectancy and derived from a common or propagated source.

(19) “Essential public health services and functions” means services and functions to:

(A) monitor health status to identify and solve public health problems;

(B) investigate and diagnose health problems and health hazards in a community;

(C) inform, educate, and empower individuals about health issues;

(D) mobilize public and private sector partner and volunteer collaboration and action to identify and solve public health problems;

(E) develop policies, and plans, and programs that support individual and community health efforts;

(F) enforce laws and regulations that protect public health and ensure public safety;

(G) direct individuals to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable;

(H) assure a competent department workforce;

(I) evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services; and

(J) research for new insights and innovative solutions to public health problems.

(20) “Exam”, “examining” or “examination” means the same as “test” or “testing”.

(21) “Expunge”, “expunged” or “expunging” means to permanently destroy, delete, or make non-identifiable.

(22) “Fono” means the Legislature of American Samoa.

(23) “Health care provider” means any person that provides health care services including, but not limited to, hospitals, medical clinics and offices, special care facilities, medical laboratories, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, physician assistants, registered and licensed practical/vocational nurses, paramedics, emergency medical or laboratory technicians, community health workers, and ambulance and emergency medical workers.

(24) “Identifiable health information” means any information, whether oral, written, electronic, visual, pictorial, physical, or any other form, that relates to an individual’s past, present, or future physical or mental health status, condition, treatment, service, products purchased, or provision of care, and:

(A) reveals the identity of the individual whose health care is the subject of the information; or

(B) there is a reasonable basis to believe the information could be utilized (either alone or with other information that is, or should reasonably be known to be, available to predictable recipients of such information) to reveal the identity of that individual.

(25) “Individual” means a natural human being.

(26) “Infectious disease” means a disease caused by a living organism or other pathogen, including a fungus, bacteria, parasite, protozoan, or virus. An infectious disease may be transmissible from individual to individual, animal to individual, or insect to individual.

(27) “Infectious waste” means blood and blood products, excretions, exudates, secretions, suctioning and other body fluids, and waste materials saturated with blood or body fluids, including etiologic agents and associated biologicals; specimen cultures and dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures; wastes from production of biologicals and serums; and discarded live and attenuated vaccines; biopsy materials and all human tissues; anatomical parts that emanate from surgery, obstetrical procedures, necropsy or autopsy and laboratory procedures; animal carcasses exposed to pathogens in research and the bedding and other waste from such animals, needles, I.V. tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, breakable glass tubes, and syringes that have been removed from their original sterile containers, but does not include teeth or formaldehyde (or other preservative agents).

(28) “Isolate”, “isolated”, or “isolation” means the physical separation and confinement of an individual or groups of individuals who are infected or reasonably believed to be infected with a contagious or possibly contagious disease from non-isolated individuals, to prevent or limit the transmission of the diseases to non-isolated individuals.

(29) “License,” “licensed,” or “licensure” means an authorization that conditionally allows the recipient to conduct, for a specified period of time, activities that would be unlawful without the authorization.

(30) “Non-identifiable health information” means any information, whether oral, written, electronic, visual, pictorial, physical, or any other form that relates to an individual’s past, present, or future physical or mental health status, condition, treatment, service, products purchased, or provision of care; and

(A) Does not reveal the identity of the individual whose health status is the subject of the information; or

(B) There is no reasonable basis to believe such information could be utilized (either alone or with other information that is, or should reasonably be, known to be available to predictable recipients of such information) to reveal the identity of that individual.

(31) “Nuisance” means a condition, act, or failure to act that unreasonably interferes with the health or safety of the community by endangering life, generating or spreading infectious diseases, or otherwise injuriously affecting the public’s health.

(32) “Person” means an individual, corporation (for-profit or nonprofit), estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, institution, joint venture, governmental body, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(33) “Predictive value” or “PV” means the ability of a test or exam to accurately predict the presence or absence of a condition of public health importance in a population. The PV is determined by the test’s validity (i.e., sensitivity and specificity), reliability, and the prevalence of the condition in the population.

(34) “Private sector partner” means non-governmental person or agency, including community organizations, contractors, educational institutions, health care facilities, health care providers, health insurers, private businesses, medical, and nonprofit organizations that provide essential public health services and functions or work to improve public health outcomes in collaboration with the department.

(35) “Public health infrastructure” means the competencies and resources that enable the department, in collaboration with federal or ASG agencies, public and private sector partners and volunteers to provide essential public health services and functions throughout the Territory.

(36) “Public health system” means the department and all of the department’s public and private sector partners and volunteers.

(37) “Public information” means information that is generally open to inspection or review by the public.

(38) “Public sector partner” means international, federal, or ASG agencies that provide, in cooperation with the department, essential public health services and functions or work to improve public health outcomes with the Territory.

(39) “Quarantine” means the physical separation and confinement of an individual or groups of individuals, who are or may have been exposed to a contagious or possibly contagious disease and who do not show signs or symptoms of a contagious disease, from non-quarantined individuals, to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to non-quarantined individuals.

(40) “Request” means a written, dated, and signed correspondence on paper or electronic form through which the identity of the individual executing the correspondence can be verified.

(41) “Requestor” means any individual (or legal representative) who makes a request.

(42) “Sample” means a substance derived from a nonhuman source and collected for the purposes of analysis.

(43) “Screen,” “screened,” or “screening” means the systematic application of a test or exam to a defined population.

(44) “Specimen” means blood, sputum, urine, stool, or other bodily fluids, wastes, tissues, and cultures collected for the purpose of performing required tests.

(45) “Store,” “stored,” or “storage” means to hold, maintain, keep, or retain all or any part of.

(46) “Test” or “testing” means any diagnostic or investigative analyses or medical procedures that determine the presence or absence of, or exposure to, a condition of public health importance, or its precursor, in an individual.

(47) “Territory” means the United States territory of American Samoa including Tutuila, Aunu’u, the Manu’a islands and Swain’s island.

(48) “Toxic” or “toxin” means a chemical, radiological, or biological agent that causes disease or some alteration of the normal structure and function of an individual or animal.

(49) “Transmissible” means capable of causing disease or infection through individual to individual, animal to individual, or other modes of transmission.

(50) “Use” or “used” means to employ or utilize all or any part of.

(51) “Vaccinate,” “vaccinated,” “vaccination,” or “vaccine” means a suspension of attenuated or noninfectious microorganisms or derivative antigens administered to stimulate antibody production or cellular immunity against a pathogen for the purpose of preventing, ameliorating, or treating an infectious disease.

(52) “Volunteer” means any authorized person who provides services or functions on a voluntary, unpaid basis to the department including any such individual or entity that participates in any activity covered or described by this act with the approval or permission of the department or the director.

(53) “Written authorization” means a written statement authorizing the disclosure of identifiable health information on a form substantially similar to one promulgated by the department which is signed in writing or electronically by the individual who is the subject of the information.

History: 2007, PL 30-11.