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Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics

Vital Records Cost of Service and Fee Analysis Study

The Center for Health Statistics provides vital records to Washington citizens. However, the Center’s business model is challenged by cost factors and the growth of online services. BERK developed a comprehensive cost and fee analysis to help ensure the program’s financial sustainability.

We identified the Center’s costs and allocated them to core business areas and services. Using these results, the study examined the Center’s funding model, assessing cost recovery and revenue stability. BERK’s recommendations included fee adjustments to improve cost recovery on business lines where that is feasible, and longer-term options for reducing reliance on the sale of paper certificates.We also evaluated equity among customer groups and implementation constraints on fees negotiated by the department that are set in WAC and in statute. The project included process mapping, research on practices in other states, and development of a financial model that the Center can use to assess its fee structure going forward.