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SF 3225

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to human services; authorizing the ombudsman and Medical Review
Subcommittee to gather data about deceased clients; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2006, sections 245.91, subdivision 3, by adding a subdivision; 245.92;
245.94, subdivisions 1, 2a; 245.97, subdivision 5.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.91, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Client.

"Client" means a person served by an agency, facility, or program,
who is receiving services or treatment for mental illness, developmental disabilities,
chemical dependency, or emotional disturbance.new text begin Client also includes a now deceased
person who had been served by an agency, facility, or program.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.91, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 4a. new text end

new text begin Gather. new text end

new text begin "Gather" means access to information or data for purposes of
inspection and to receive copies of information or data.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.92, is amended to read:


245.92 OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN; CREATION; QUALIFICATIONS;
FUNCTION.

The ombudsman for persons receiving services or treatment for mental illness,
developmental disabilities, chemical dependency, or emotional disturbance shall promote
the highest attainable standards of treatment, competence, efficiency, and justice. The
ombudsman may gather informationnew text begin and datanew text end about decisions, acts, and other matters of
an agency, facility, or program. The ombudsman is appointed by the governor, serves in
the unclassified service, and may be removed only for just cause. The ombudsman must
be selected without regard to political affiliation and must be a person who has knowledge
and experience concerning the treatment, needs, and rights of clients, and who is highly
competent and qualified. No person may serve as ombudsman while holding another
public office.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.94, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Powers.

(a) The ombudsman may prescribe the methods by which
complaints to the office are to be made, reviewed, and acted upon. The ombudsman may
not levy a complaint fee.

(b) The ombudsman may mediate or advocate on behalf of a client.

(c) The ombudsman may investigate the quality of services provided to clients and
determine the extent to which quality assurance mechanisms within state and county
government work to promote the health, safety, and welfare of clients, other than clients
in acute care facilities who are receiving services not paid for by public funds.new text begin The
ombudsman is a health oversight agency as defined in Code of Federal Regulations,
title 45, section 164.501.
new text end

(d) At the request of a client, or upon receiving a complaint or other information
affording reasonable grounds to believe that the rights of a client who is not capable
of requesting assistance have been adversely affected, the ombudsman may gather
information new text beginand data new text endabout and analyze, on behalf of the client, the actions of an agency,
facility, or program.

(e) The ombudsman may deleted text beginexaminedeleted text endnew text begin gathernew text end, on behalf of a client, records of an
agency, facility, or program if the records relate to a matter that is within the scope of the
ombudsman's authority. If the records are private and the client is capable of providing
consent, the ombudsman shall first obtain the client's consent. The ombudsman is
not required to obtain consent for access to private data on clients with developmental
disabilities. The ombudsman is not required to obtain consent for access to private data
on decedents who were receiving services for mental illness, developmental disabilities,
or emotional disturbance.new text begin All data collected, created, received, or maintained by the
ombudsman are governed by chapter 13 and other applicable law.
new text end

(f) new text beginNotwithstanding any law to the contrary, new text endthe ombudsman may subpoena a person
to appear, give testimony, or produce documents or other evidence that the ombudsman
considers relevant to a matter under inquiry. The ombudsman may petition the appropriate
court new text beginin Ramsey County new text endto enforce the subpoena. A witness who is at a hearing or is part
of an investigation possesses the same privileges that a witness possesses in the courts or
under the law of this state. Data obtained from a person under this paragraph are private
data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 12.

(g) The ombudsman may, at reasonable times in the course of conducting a review,
enter and view premises within the control of an agency, facility, or program.

(h) The ombudsman may attend Department of Human Services Review Board
and Special Review Board proceedings; proceedings regarding the transfer of patients
or residents, as defined in section 246.50, subdivisions 4 and 4a, between institutions
operated by the Department of Human Services; and, subject to the consent of the affected
client, other proceedings affecting the rights of clients. The ombudsman is not required to
obtain consent to attend meetings or proceedings and have access to private data on clients
with developmental disabilities.

(i) The ombudsman shall deleted text beginhave access todeleted text endnew text begin gathernew text end data of agencies, facilities, or
programs classified as private or confidential as defined in section 13.02, subdivisions 3
and 12
, regarding services provided to clients with developmental disabilities.

(j) To avoid duplication and preserve evidence, the ombudsman shall inform
relevant licensing or regulatory officials before undertaking a review of an action of
the facility or program.

(k) Sections 245.91 to 245.97 are in addition to other provisions of law under which
any other remedy or right is provided.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.94, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:


Subd. 2a.

Mandatory reporting.

Within 24 hours after a client suffers death or
serious injury, the agency, facility, or program director shall notify the ombudsman of the
death or serious injury.new text begin The ombudsman is authorized to receive identifying information
about a deceased client according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 2.15,
paragraph (b).
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.97, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Medical Review Subcommittee.

At least five members of the committee,
including at least three physicians, one of whom is a psychiatrist, must be designated by
the governor to serve as a Medical Review Subcommittee. Terms of service, vacancies,
and compensation are governed by subdivision 2. The governor shall designate one of
the members to serve as chair of the subcommittee. The Medical Review Subcommittee
maynew text begin have access to private and confidential data collected or created by the ombudsman
that are necessary to fulfill the duties of the Medical Review Subcommittee under this
section and may
new text end:

(1) make a preliminary determination of whether the death of a client that has been
brought to its attention is unusual or reasonably appears to have resulted from causes other
than natural causes and warrants investigation;

(2) review the causes of and circumstances surrounding the death;

(3) request the county coroner or medical examiner to conduct an autopsy;

(4) assist an agency in its investigations of unusual deaths and deaths from causes
other than natural causes; and

(5) submit a report regarding the death of a client to the committee, the ombudsman,
the client's next-of-kin, and the facility where the death occurred and, where appropriate,
make recommendations to prevent recurrence of similar deaths to the head of each
affected agency or facility.