Board of Mortuary Arts

Agency Newsletter

Last updated:  July 17, 2014


USPS has new information on How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains.

The Monday, March 24, 2014 edition of the Kansas City Star has an article, titled:  "Funeral Directors Move Beyond Tradition to Meet Demands of Changing Technology, Culture."

Please contact us if you find any out-dated information or if links aren't working the way they should!  We do our best to keep everything up to date, but your help is appreciated!

The Funeral Ethics Organization has a new information guide, Your Funeral Consumer Rights in Kansas, for 2012.

A reminder that if your funeral home wishes to return a medical device following authorization by the legal next-of-kin of the deceased, the number to call for Medtronic Neurological in Shawnee Mission, Kansas is (913) 469-8555.  They will send funeral homes the proper mailing package upon request.

Crematory Operator Licensure Information

We have issued 179 crematory operator licenses as of July 17, 2014.  As of December 1, 2011, all cremations in the State of Kansas must be performed by a license crematory operator.  UPDATED 7-17-2014

Coroner's Permit to Cremate--Some counties charge a few when issuing a coroner's permit to cremate.  You might want to consider asking if such a fee is being charged when arranging for this permit if you intend to pass the charge on.

We're still receiving information from funeral homes receiving fraudulent calls/faxes being reported by funeral homes where relay phones are used in hopes of convincing funeral homes that they need to provide credit card/bank account information to arrange for the transportation of a loved one from out of state or out of country deaths.  Another reported possible scam has to do with a hearing impaired request with a death in England--reported by five Kansas funeral homes. Be careful to verify information before providing any information to unconfirmed sources!!!  Requests are reportedly being made via telephone, fax and email, so please ware.

An updated Rule Book with current laws is now available on-line at no cost or through our office for $5 per copy.

Arlington National Cemetery has a new fax number:  (571) 256-3334.  This is the fax number to be used for sending scheduling documents to the Army National Cemeteries Program at Arlington National Cemetery.  The old number has been discontinued.  You can continue to email documents to anc.isb@conus.army.mil 

House Bill 2083  became law on July 1, 2011 and requires funeral homes that close to notify families with prefinanced funeral agreements of their closing.

Don't forget to take a look at our Licensee Question of the Month to brush up on Kansas laws!

On August 1, 2010 the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that the 100% air cargo screening protocols for Human Remains (HR) shipments became effective.  The screening for human remains shipped by passenger airliners in the USA went into effect in February 2009 at the 50% level.  There are several web sites available with useful information that you may want to look at, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and American Airlines (AA) Cargo.   TSA will require 100% screening of international air cargo headed to the United States by December 31, 2011.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2310 from the 2010 Kansas Legislative Session enacts new laws--including the licensure of crematory operators.  Updated information can be found here.

There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding Alkaline Hydrolysis/Water Resolution in professional trade journals lately.  Click on the hyper link to learn more about the process with information from the Biosafe/engineering web site. 

  The 2012 Annual Summary of Vital Statistics is now available:

The 2012 Annual Summary of Vital Statistics can be found at   2012 Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics

Some specific statistics can be found at the Kansas Statistics at a Glance section of their report.

Our thanks to KDHE/OVS for providing this information.

Statistics from previous years can be found at The Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics

The KDHE/OVS web site is located at   Office of Vital Statistics


UPDATED 7/11/2014   Statistics from the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB) for the NBE (National Board Examination) for the time frame of January 1, 2014--June 30, 2014 as provided by the ICFSEB, are as follows:

National Board
Arts Examination (NBA)
Total
Tested
Pass # Pass %
Fail # Fail % Absent #
First Time
683
518
76%
165
24%
  9
Repeater
178
  68
38%
110
62%
  3
Total
861
586
68%
275
32%
14

National Board
Science Examination (NBS)
Total
Tested
Pass # Pass %
Fail # Fail % Absent #
First Time 681
534
78%
147
22%
11
Repeater 163
  52
32%
111
68%
11
Total
844
586
69%
258
31%
22

2013 NBE stats  and  NBE Stats from 2008-2012

For additional information, please go to the new and improved web site for the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards:  http://www.theconferenceonline.org/      ICFSEB's Fall 2013 Report        Spring 2013 Report 

The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB), 1885 Shelby Lane, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704     Phone:  (479) 442-7076    Fax:  (479) 442-7090
My Two Cents Worth is a column from the Desk of KSBMA Executive Secretary Mack Smith.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Information--

Information regarding Consumer Information, The FTC Funeral Rule

Information regarding Facts for Business, Complying With the Funeral Rule

Staff Opinions:


UPDATED 7/11/2014  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made available online its periodically issued Funeral Rule Opinions which are informal staff advisory opinions in response to requests for interpretation of the Funeral Rule.  The opinions date back to 1994 and include the most recent opinions which are summarized in a listing with links to view and the ability to download the full text of the letters.  Topics include a wide range of subjects, including the use of computerized displays of casket prices, charging a fee for refrigeration of bodies, not being able to charge consumers extra for storing a casket that the consumer bought from outside the funeral home, not being able to charge an extra to dispose of the packaging material from the outside casket . . .   If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, please visit their site to download it--as the following opinions are in pdf format:

Staff Opinion #13-1   Clarifies how funeral providers should disclose additional charges for atypical services on the GPL and Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected.
Staff Opinion #13-2   Addresses Funeral Rule Requirements for disclosing charges for collecting insurance or trust proceeds.
Staff Opinion #12-1   Clarifies that all caskets that do not require special ordering must be listed on the casket price list, even if offered temporarily or only to a select group of customers.
Staff Opinion #11-1   Determines that funeral providers may not charge a non-declinable fee for disinfecting, washing and dressing remains for an identification viewing prior to direct cremation or immediate burial unless applicable law or crematory or cemetery requires an identification viewing.
Staff Opinion #10-1  Addresses third party casket delivery restrictions by funeral providers that unreasonably burden consumer choices.
Staff Opinion #09-1  Discusses whether funeral providers may offer discount packages conditioned on the purchase of a casket , and whether such packages may discount the basic services fee.  Written:  February 17, 2009
Staff Opinion #09-2  Confirms that funeral providers must provide accurate price information by telephone to anyone who inquires about offerings or prices, including a business that will use the information for their own profit.  Written:  March 18, 2009.
Staff Opinion #09-3  Clarifies that Opinion 09-1 is limited to the issues discussed in that opinion.
Staff Opinion #09-4  Discusses the circumstances under which funeral providers should include the overhead cost of the use of a vehicle to obtain death certificates and permits in their basic services fee.
Staff Opinion #09-5  Confirms that cemeteries generally are not covered by the Funeral Rule unless they offer both funeral services and funeral goods.
Staff Opinion #09-6  Addresses whether a funeral provider may include a reduced basic services fee in its prices for direct cremation, immediate burial and forwarding and receiving remains.
Staff Opinion #09-7  Considers funeral provider liability for claims that a vault or casket is "waterproof."

UPDATED 7-17-2014  Assistant Funeral Director (AFD) Examination Filing Deadlines and Examination Dates:

   Filing Deadlines                                                                               Examination Dates (All Wednesdays unless otherwise listed)
Friday, August 15, 2014 September 3, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014 October 1, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 November 5, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014 December 3, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014 January 7, 2015

All examinations will be administered at the KSBMA office in Topeka at 1:30 p.m. on the dates indicated unless otherwise indicated.

Please note that applications and fees ($200--$150 application fee, $50 examination fee) must be filed with the KSBMA office BY the filing deadline in order to be eligible to be administered the examination the next month.  AFD applicants who are serving a funeral director apprenticeship and submit an apprenticeship application with the AFD application will not be administered the AFD examination--as they will be administered the funeral director examination upon completion of apprenticeship.  Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance.

Additional information regarding the assistant funeral director license:

Assistant Funeral Director Application
Assistant Funeral Director Examination Application
Assistant Funeral Director Examination Information
Assistant Funeral Director Licensure Information  (information for applicants and supervising funeral directors)

NOTE: Three of the above are pdf documents. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, please visit their site to download it.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) as it relates to funeral homes, cemeteries and crematory practitioners:  That link is:  Information on CJD  relating to the funeral profession.
National Prearranged Services, Inc., Lincoln Memorial Life and Memorial Service Life Insurance Companies update.  The Friday, August 7, 2009 edition of STL.com has posted a story:  Funeral homes' CFO arrested for fraud.  The August 6, 2009 edition of the Business Wire has posted a story:  Reilly Pozner LLP Files Suit:  $600 Million National Pre-Need Burial Insurance Fraud.  The 130 page complaint can be viewed (in Adobe Reader/pdf format) at:  complaint.

The Funeral Consumers Alliance has a document available on-line on their web site under the section titled Frequently Asked Questions/Documents Recycle Your Medical Devices that could prove helpful.  Items discussed in the brochure include hearing aids, pacemakers and insulin pumps.

Renewal Dates  for licensees of the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts (KSBMA.)  UPDATED 7-11-2014

KPERS Death Benefit Information  This is the updated version of informational page provided by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS.)  NOTE: This is a pdf  document. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, please visit their site to download it.  KPERS Death Benefit Information  For more information, please check the KPERS web site:
http://www.kpers.org/deathretired.htm
.  For information pertaining to the KPERS Death Benefit and Funeral Establishments:  http://www.kpers.org/funeralhomepolicy.doc.

The Estate Recovery Unit of the Kansas Health Policy Authority has contracted out work involving estate recovery to a private contractor, Health Management Systems (HMS).  Funeral home inquiries to HMS should be directed to 1-800-817-8617 or 785-380-4331.  Faxes can be sent to 785-215-6629 and can be directed to Ms. Angela Fernandez.  Apparently the fax number also rolls over to email.

Veterans' Funeral & Burial Benefits--Information is available at the web site of the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA):  http://www.funerals.org/faq/vet.htm

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Information  

The issue of cross connection and backflow prevention came up recently when a Kansas funeral home was required to make some plumbing adjustments in their embalming/preparation room after being inspected by a representative from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Division of Environmental Field Services.  While the KDHE does not have specific regulations or statutes which pertain to protection of the public water supply from backflow/backsiphonage from a funeral home, Kansas does have broad regulations and statutes concerning the protection of public water supply, including:

KAR 28-15-18.  See section (f).
To access all Kansas regulations, please select:  Kansas Regulations  and type in the regulation number (example:  28-15-18, then scroll down to section (f).)

KSA 65-163a, KSA 65-171g
To access all Kansas statutes, please select:  Kansas Statutes  and type in the statute number  (example:  65-171g)

Additional information can be found under the KDHE's  Bureau of Water  and  Engineering and Permits Unit  where you will find information on the
KDHE's minimum design standards entitled "Policies, General Considerations, and Design Requirements for Public Water Supply Systems in Kansas," 1995 edition.


Information and related statutes pertaining to Unclaimed Bodies can be found in an article written by Brian Vazquez titled "Kansas Dead Body Law."  Brian is the Administrator of the Estate Recovery Unit of the Division of Health Policy and Finance (HPF.)  The article was originally written for internal use by SRS field staff.  Thank you for sharing, Brian.

Newspaper Obituary Costs

Funeral Homes--Please be sure to let families know up front what newspapers are charging for publishing obituaries.  If possible, it would be nice to be able to tell families up front/prior to publication what the cost to publish an obituary will be.  I received an email from an individual who was informed, after the fact, of a charge for publishing a large obituary that was much more expensive than they had imagined.  If the family would have known up front what the charge was going to be, then they could have made a decision to either exclude some information or perhaps not to have run the obituary at all.  One Kansas funeral home uses a computer generated form for preparing obituaries.  After struggling with the confusion of which newspapers charge vs. those that do not charge, the funeral home added the following in large font and bold letters for their families not wanting to spend money for a newspaper obituary:

Please Publish This Obituary In the Format In Which Your Newsletter Offers Free Of Charge!

If anyone has any other suggestions or methods currently being used regarding  the ability to inform families of newspaper obituary costs, please let us know--so we can share with everyone.  Thank you for your assistance and willingness to contribute!

Thank you to Reuben Feuerborn for sharing this information with us, so we could share it with you.

Information regarding the Flag of the United States of America:

US Flag

For information on the Flag of the United States of America, you can view information at the web site of the American Legion.  Their web site discusses  the flagthe flag code and folding the flag.  Additional information can also be found at the Flag.

A web site listing information for Kansas newspapers can be found at  USNPL.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers a useful Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist with some related materials at:
http://www.cdc.gov/business 


To view two generic forms dealing with KAR 63-7-2 and Crematory Record keeping, please click  here .

Information on the Willed Body Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center regarding Bequeathing A Body  NOTE: (This is a pdf   document.  If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, please visit their site to download it.

The current address for the Estate Recovery Unit is:

Estate Recovery Unit (ERU)
Division of Health Policy and Finance (HPF)
P.O. Box 2428
Topeka, Kansas 66601
  Phone:  (785) 296-6707
Fax:  (785) 296-8017

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Information

Kansas does not have a state OSHA Approved Program Plan.  The telephone number to the Federal OSHA Regional Office (for Kansas) is:  (816) 426-5861.  For information pertaining to OSHA, please click  here for the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA web site.  The OSHA Site Index located at the top of their home page contains a lot of information that could prove helpful to licensees.  For a full text of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, please click here.   For the National Funeral Directors Association's (NFDA) Summary Page, please click  here.

For information pertaining to Licensees In the Military Service, please select here.

For a roster of all Kansas Funeral Homes and Crematories With Refrigeration, click hereThe list contains all licensed Kansas funeral homes and crematories with on-site refrigeration units, their address and their maximum storing capacity.  We continue to update this list, so please let us know if you are aware of any changes, additions, deletions or corrections needing to be made.

If you are a licensee and you need to inform the Board of an address change, there are two ways to do so:

1)  To send us updated information via email, click on the following link:
       http://www.accesskansas.org/ksbma/changeofaddress.html
       Simply complete the information and click on the Submit Change of Address button at the bottom of the form, or

2)  If you wish to mail or fax us the information, click on the following link:
       http://www.accesskansas.org/ksbma/pdf/changeofaddress.pdf
       Simply print off the information and either mail or fax it to us.
       This application is in .pdf/Adobe Reader format.

For a list of where records are being kept for closed funeral homes, please select  Closed Funeral Home Record Search  will allow you to see where records of funeral homes no longer in business have been transferred to.  If you are aware of any additions or corrections to this list, please contact us at  boma1@ksbma.ks.gov  so we can make the appropriate changes.

Information regarding the Social Security Death Benefit of $255.00 can be located at:  http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/deathbenefits.htm
Information is titled:  "Survivors:  What To Do When A Beneficiary Dies."

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented a procedure affecting those passengers attempting to transport a crematory container on airplanes as carry-on baggage. To view, please refer to the TSA Travel Tips  website at: http://www.tsatraveltips.us.  Go to the "Air Travel" section and refer to the "Transporting Special Items" portion - or you can call the TSA Call Center at (866) 289-9973.  It may be necessary to reload this web site as it doesn't always open on the first attempt.  To get to the direct link to the TSA section on Transporting the Deceased (Crematory Containers), please click  here.  You  will need to scroll down the center section in order to view information titled:  "Transporting the Deceased."  Transporting Cremation Remains   For information regarding traveling with caskets/coffins, the TSA recommends that you check with the individual carriers to determine their policies and procedures.

Web Site Updates:   "Funeral Homes with Open Positions" and the "Individuals Looking for Employment"  are located under "Job Search."  A copy of the Tentative Agenda for the upcoming board meeting can be found on the Agency Information portion of this web site or you can select the following: Board Meeting Tentative Agenda.  The current version of the Funeral Home Inspector's Report and Board Meeting Minutes can be located under the section titled:  Agency Information.  Select the following for the current  continuing education list and the list of Approved Correspondence/Home Study Programs.  Select the following for the most recent information on License Listings", including individual licensees and the city directory of funeral homes.

We are always in the process of upgrading and changing our web site. Do you have any suggestions for our web site?  If so, please forward them to us for consideration.  We are always looking to provide additional information for consumers and licensees. Corrections are always appreciated!

Private Burying Grounds - Our main page, under "What's New," now also includes a copy of K.S.A. 17-1305 which addresses private burying grounds; control by the county clerk; actions for damages.

Please note the link on our main page under "What's New" to our Memorial Planning Guide. This guide is generic in nature and can be used by all consumers to begin to prearrange their funeral arrangements.  NOTE: (This is a pdf document. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, please visit their site to download it.)

Informational brochures ("Facts About Funerals" and "Pre-Arranging Your Funeral Arrangements") are available at no cost through our office and can be located on this web site on our main web page by  selecting Facts about Funerals or Pre-planning Your Funeral Arrangements.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Office Manager Sherry Fergel, Funeral Home/Crematory Inspector Francis Mills or me anytime we can provide information, answer questions or be of assistance. A direct email to Sherry is: boma1@ksbma.ks.gov.  A direct email to Francis is: boma2@ksbma.ks.gov.

State of Kansas Board of Mortuary Arts

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Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts  -  phone:(785)-296-3980  - fax:(785)296-0891