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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

CHAPTER 108--S.F.No. 1887

An act

relating to civil law; releasing information to health care agents; providing access to health care agents;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 13.384, subdivisions 2, 3; 144.225, subdivision 7; 144.419, subdivision 5; 169.09, subdivision 13; 246.70; 253B.10, subdivision 3; 253B.14; 253B.16, subdivision 2; 256B.48, subdivision 8.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 13.384, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Public hospitals; directory information.

(a) During the time that a person is a patient in a hospital operated by a government entity under legal commitment, directory information is public data. After the person is released by termination of the person's legal commitment, the directory information is private data on individuals.

(b) If a person is a patient other than pursuant to commitment in a hospital controlled by a government entity, directory information is public data unless the patient requests otherwise, in which case it is private data on individuals.

(c) Directory information about an emergency patient who is unable to communicate which is public under this subdivision shall not be released until a reasonable effort is made to notify the next of kin or health care agent. Although an individual has requested that directory information be private, the hospital may release directory information to a law enforcement agency pursuant to a lawful investigation pertaining to that individual.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 13.384, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Classification of medical data.

Unless the data is summary data or a statute specifically provides a different classification, medical data are private but are available only to the subject of the data as provided in sections 144.291 to 144.298, and shall not be disclosed to others except:

(a) pursuant to section 13.05;

(b) pursuant to section 253B.0921;

(c) pursuant to a valid court order;

(d) to administer federal funds or programs;

(e) to the surviving spouse, parents, children, and siblings, and health care agent of a deceased patient or client or, if there are no surviving spouse, parents, children, or siblings, or health care agent to the surviving heirs of the nearest degree of kindred;

(f) to communicate a patient's or client's condition to a family member, health care agent, or other appropriate person in accordance with acceptable medical practice, unless the patient or client directs otherwise; or

(g) as otherwise required by law.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 144.225, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Certified birth or death record.

(a) The state or local registrar shall issue a certified birth or death record or a statement of no vital record found to an individual upon the individual's proper completion of an attestation provided by the commissioner:

(1) to a person who has a tangible interest in the requested vital record. A person who has a tangible interest is:

(i) the subject of the vital record;

(ii) a child of the subject;

(iii) the spouse of the subject;

(iv) a parent of the subject;

(v) the grandparent or grandchild of the subject;

(vi) if the requested record is a death record, a sibling of the subject;

(vii) the party responsible for filing the vital record;

(viii) the legal custodian or, guardian or conservator, or health care agent of the subject;

(ix) a personal representative, by sworn affidavit of the fact that the certified copy is required for administration of the estate;

(x) a successor of the subject, as defined in section 524.1-201, if the subject is deceased, by sworn affidavit of the fact that the certified copy is required for administration of the estate;

(xi) if the requested record is a death record, a trustee of a trust by sworn affidavit of the fact that the certified copy is needed for the proper administration of the trust;

(xii) a person or entity who demonstrates that a certified vital record is necessary for the determination or protection of a personal or property right, pursuant to rules adopted by the commissioner; or

(xiii) adoption agencies in order to complete confidential postadoption searches as required by section 259.83;

(2) to any local, state, or federal governmental agency upon request if the certified vital record is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties. An authorized governmental agency includes the Department of Human Services, the Department of Revenue, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;

(3) to an attorney upon evidence of the attorney's license;

(4) pursuant to a court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. For purposes of this section, a subpoena does not constitute a court order; or

(5) to a representative authorized by a person under clauses (1) to (4).

(b) The state or local registrar shall also issue a certified death record to an individual described in paragraph (a), clause (1), items (ii) to (viii), if, on behalf of the individual, a licensed mortician furnishes the registrar with a properly completed attestation in the form provided by the commissioner within 180 days of the time of death of the subject of the death record. This paragraph is not subject to the requirements specified in Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2600, subpart 5, item B.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 144.419, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Restricted entry.

(a) No person, other than a person authorized by the commissioner of health or authorized by any person acting under the commissioner's authority, shall enter an isolation or quarantine area. If, by reason of an unauthorized entry into an isolation or quarantine area, a person poses a danger to public health, the person may be subject to isolation or quarantine according to this section and section 144.4195.

(b) A family member or health care agent of a person isolated or quarantined has a right to choose to enter into an isolation or quarantine area. The commissioner of health must permit the family member or health care agent entry into the isolation or quarantine area if the family member or health care agent signs a consent form stating that the family member or health care agent has been informed of the potential health risks, isolation and quarantine guidelines, and the consequences of entering the area. The family member or health care agent may not hold the Department of Health, the commissioner of health, or the state responsible for any consequences of entering the isolation or quarantine area. If, by reason of entry into an isolation or quarantine area under this paragraph, a person poses a danger to public health, the person may be subject to isolation or quarantine according to this section and section 144.4195.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 169.09, subdivision 13, is amended to read:

Subd. 13.

Reports confidential; evidence, fee, penalty, appropriation.

(a) All reports and supplemental information required under this section must be for the use of the commissioner of public safety and other appropriate state, federal, county, and municipal governmental agencies for accident analysis purposes, except:

(1) the commissioner of public safety or any law enforcement agency shall, upon written request of any individual involved in an accident or upon written request of the representative of the individual's estate, surviving spouse, or one or more surviving next of kin, or a trustee appointed under section 573.02, or other person injured in person, property, or means of support, or who incurs other pecuniary loss by virtue of the accident, disclose to the requester, the requester's legal counsel, or a representative of the requester's insurer the report required under subdivision 8;

(2) the commissioner of public safety shall, upon written request, provide the driver filing a report under subdivision 7 with a copy of the report filed by the driver;

(3) the commissioner of public safety may verify with insurance companies vehicle insurance information to enforce sections 65B.48, 169.792, 169.793, 169.796, and 169.797;

(4) the commissioner of public safety shall provide the commissioner of transportation the information obtained for each traffic accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, for purposes of administering commercial vehicle safety regulations; and

(5) the commissioner of public safety may give to the United States Department of Transportation commercial vehicle accident information in connection with federal grant programs relating to safety.

(b) Accident reports and data contained in the reports are not discoverable under any provision of law or rule of court. No report shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, or any action for damages or criminal proceedings arising out of an accident. However, the commissioner of public safety shall furnish, upon the demand of any person who has or claims to have made a report or upon demand of any court, a certificate showing that a specified accident report has or has not been made to the commissioner solely to prove compliance or failure to comply with the requirements that the report be made to the commissioner.

(c) Nothing in this subdivision prevents any individual who has made a report under this section from providing information to any individuals involved in an accident or their representatives or from testifying in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident, as to facts within the individual's knowledge. It is intended by this subdivision to render privileged the reports required, but it is not intended to prohibit proof of the facts to which the reports relate.

(d) Disclosing any information contained in any accident report, except as provided in this subdivision, section 13.82, subdivision 3 or 6, or other statutes, is a misdemeanor.

(e) The commissioner of public safety shall charge authorized persons as described in paragraph (a) a $5 fee for a copy of an accident report. Ninety percent of the $5 fee collected under this paragraph must be deposited in the special revenue fund and credited to the driver services operating account established in section 299A.705 and ten percent must be deposited in the general fund. The commissioner may also furnish an electronic copy of the database of accident records, which must not contain personal or private data on an individual, to private agencies as provided in paragraph (g), for not less than the cost of preparing the copies on a bulk basis as provided in section 13.03, subdivision 3.

(f) The fees specified in paragraph (e) notwithstanding, the commissioner and law enforcement agencies shall charge commercial users who request access to response or incident data relating to accidents a fee not to exceed 50 cents per record. "Commercial user" is a user who in one location requests access to data in more than five accident reports per month, unless the user establishes that access is not for a commercial purpose. Of the money collected by the commissioner under this paragraph, 90 percent must be deposited in the special revenue fund and credited to the driver services operating account established in section 299A.705 and ten percent must be deposited in the general fund.

(g) The fees in paragraphs (e) and (f) notwithstanding, the commissioner shall provide an electronic copy of the accident records database to the public on a case-by-case basis using the cost-recovery charges provided for under section 13.03, subdivision 3. The database provided must not contain personal or private data on an individual. However, unless the accident records data base includes the vehicle identification number, the commissioner shall include the vehicle registration plate number if a private agency certifies and agrees that the agency:

(1) is in the business of collecting accident and damage information on vehicles;

(2) will use the vehicle registration plate number only for identifying vehicles that have been involved in accidents or damaged, to provide this information to persons seeking access to a vehicle's history and not for identifying individuals or for any other purpose; and

(3) will be subject to the penalties and remedies under sections 13.08 and 13.09.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 246.70, is amended to read:

246.70 SERVICES TO FAMILIES.

(a) The commissioner shall publicize the planned changes to the facilities operated by the commissioner. A parent, other involved family member, or private guardian, or health care agent of a resident of a facility must be notified of the changes planned for each facility. When new services developed for a person require the person to move, the commissioner shall provide each parent, family member, health care agent, and guardian of that person with the following:

(1) names and telephone numbers of the state and county contacts;

(2) information on types of services to be developed;

(3) information on how the individual planning process works, including how alternative placements will be determined, and how family members can be involved;

(4) information on the process to be followed when a parent, other family member, health care agent, or guardian disagrees with the proposed services; and

(5) a list of additional resources such as advocates, local volunteer coordinators, and family groups.

(b) At least one staff person in each facility must be available to provide information about:

(1) community placements;

(2) the opportunity for interested family members and, guardians, and health care agents to participate in program planning; and

(3) family support groups.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 253B.10, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Notice of admission.

Whenever a committed person has been admitted to a treatment facility under the provisions of sections 253B.09 or 253B.18, the head of the treatment facility shall immediately notify the patient's spouse, health care agent, or parent and the county of the patient's legal residence if the county may be liable for a portion of the cost of treatment. If the committed person was admitted upon the petition of a spouse, health care agent, or parent the head of the treatment facility shall notify an interested person other than the petitioner.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 253B.14, is amended to read:

253B.14 TRANSFER OF COMMITTED PERSONS.

The commissioner may transfer any committed person, other than a person committed as mentally ill and dangerous to the public, from one regional treatment center to any other treatment facility under the commissioner's jurisdiction which is capable of providing proper care and treatment. When a committed person is transferred from one treatment facility to another, written notice shall be given to the committing court, the county attorney, the patient's counsel, and to the person's parent, health care agent, or spouse or, if none is known, to an interested person, and the designated agency.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 253B.16, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Notification of discharge.

Prior to the discharge or provisional discharge of any committed person, the head of the treatment facility shall notify the designated agency and the patient's spouse or health care agent, or if there is no spouse or health care agent, then an adult child, or if there is none, the next of kin of the patient, of the proposed discharge. The notice shall be sent to the last known address of the person to be notified by certified mail with return receipt. The notice shall include the following: (1) the proposed date of discharge or provisional discharge; (2) the date, time and place of the meeting of the staff who have been treating the patient to discuss discharge and discharge planning; (3) the fact that the patient will be present at the meeting; and (4) the fact that the next of kin or health care agent may attend that staff meeting and present any information relevant to the discharge of the patient. The notice shall be sent at least one week prior to the date set for the meeting.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 256B.48, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

Subd. 8.

Notification to a spouse or health care agent.

When a private pay resident who has not yet been screened by the preadmission screening team is admitted to a nursing facility or boarding care facility, the nursing facility or boarding care facility must notify the resident and the resident's spouse or health care agent of the following:

(1) their right to retain certain resources under sections 256B.0575, 256B.058, 256B.059, 256B.0595, and 256B.14, subdivision 2; and

(2) that the federal Medicare hospital insurance benefits program covers posthospital extended care services in a qualified skilled nursing facility for up to 150 days and that there are several limitations on this benefit. The resident and the resident's family or health care agent must be informed about all mechanisms to appeal limitations imposed under this federal benefit program.

This notice may be included in the nursing facility's or boarding care facility's admission agreement and must clearly explain what resources the resident and spouse may retain if the resident applies for medical assistance. The Department of Human Services must notify nursing facilities and boarding care facilities of changes in the determination of medical assistance eligibility that relate to resources retained by a resident and the resident's spouse.

The preadmission screening team has primary responsibility for informing all private pay applicants to a nursing facility or boarding care facility of the resources the resident and spouse may retain.

Presented to the governor May 15, 2009

Signed by the governor May 19, 2009, 2:55 p.m.