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Tuberculosis Reporting: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated September 16, 2014


Why do you report? ​


Because it is the law. Reporting of all patients with confirmed or suspected Tuberculosis is mandated by the State Health and Safety Codes (HSC) Division 105, Part 5 and Administrative Codes, Title 17, Chapter 4, Section 2500 and must be done within 1 day of diagnosis.
The TB Control Program performs many vital functions to ensure public health and safety. These functions include contact investigation, home visits, patient education, patient compliance assessment and directly observed therapy (DOT).
Tuberculosis Control staff also will assist in facilitating appropriate discharge planning. Health and Safety Code section 121361 also mandates that, prior to discharge, all tuberculosis suspects and cases in hospitals and prisons have an individualized, written, discharge plan approved by the Local Health Officer (i.e. TB Controller). 


Who must report?​

1. All health care providers (including administrators of healthcare facilities and clinics) in attendance of a patient suspected to have, or confirmed with, active tuberculosis, must report within 1 working day from the time of identification (California Code: Title 17, Chap. 4, Sec. 2500).
2. The director of any clinical lab or designee must report laboratory evidence suggestive of tuberculosis to the Health Department on the same day that the physician who submitted the specimen is notified (California Code: Title 17, Chap. 4, Sec. 2505).


When do you report? ​

1. When the following conditions are present:

  • Signs and symptoms of tuberculosis are present, and/or
  • The patient has an abnormal CXR consistent with tuberculosis, or
  • The patient is placed on two or more anti-TB drugs

2. When bacteriology smears or cultures are positive for acid fast bacilli (AFB). 
3. When the patient has a positive culture for M. tuberculosis complex (i.e., M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. canettii, M. africanum, M. microti).
4. When molecular testing (i.e. polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR) or Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) is positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.
5. When a pathology report is consistent with tuberculosis (i.e. shows granulomas).

6. When the following have a positive TB test result (TST/IGRA):
  • Conversion in a person living or working in a health care setting
  • Children less than 2 years old


If a known TB patient is readmitted to the hospital, do I still need to submit a GOTCH?​

YES. A GOTCH is required any time a confirmed or suspect TB case is discharged from or transferred from a health facility, this includes hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and all congregate settings (including jails). 


How do you report? ​


The Confidential Morbidity Report (CMR) should be used for patients in the outpatient setting. GOTCH form is used for hospitalized patients. 

  • Report tuberculosis by FAX: (408) 885-2331
  • Report tuberculosis by PHONE: (408) 885-4214
    • After office hours, please leave the following information on voicemail:
      • Your name
      • Your phone or pager number
      • Patient’s name
      • Patient's date of birth
      • Patient's medical record number 


Contact Us
Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention and Control Program
Public Health Department
976 Lenzen Avenue, Suite 1700
San Jose, CA 95126
Phone: 408-885-4214
Fax: 408-885-2331



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Our mission is to prevent disease and injury and create environments that promote and protect the community's health.