13.46 Welfare data.
Subdivision 1. Definitions. As used in this section:
(a) "Individual" means an individual according to section 13.02, subdivision 8, but does not include a vendor of services.
(b) "Program" includes all programs for which authority is vested in a component of the welfare system according to statute or federal law, including, but not limited to, the aid to families with dependent children program formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, Minnesota family investment program, temporary assistance for needy families program, medical assistance, general assistance, general assistance medical care, child care assistance program, and child support collections.
(c) "Welfare system" includes the Department of Human Services, local social services agencies, county welfare agencies, private licensing agencies, the public authority responsible for child support enforcement, human services boards, community mental health center boards, state hospitals, state nursing homes, the ombudsman for mental health and mental retardation, and persons, agencies, institutions, organizations, and other entities under contract to any of the above agencies to the extent specified in the contract.
(d) "Mental health data" means data on individual clients and patients of community mental health centers, established under section 245.62, mental health divisions of counties and other providers under contract to deliver mental health services, or the ombudsman for mental health and mental retardation.
(e) "Fugitive felon" means a person who has been convicted of a felony and who has escaped from confinement or violated the terms of probation or parole for that offense.
(f) "Private licensing agency" means an agency licensed by the commissioner of human services under chapter 245A to perform the duties under section 245A.16.
Subd. 2. General. (a) Unless the data is summary data or a statute specifically provides a different classification, data on individuals collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system is private data on individuals, and shall not be disclosed except:
(1) according to section 13.05;
(2) according to court order;
(3) according to a statute specifically authorizing access to the private data;
(4) to an agent of the welfare system, including a law enforcement person, attorney, or investigator acting for it in the investigation or prosecution of a criminal or civil proceeding relating to the administration of a program;
(5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data to verify an individual's identity; determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to provide services to an individual or family across programs; evaluate the effectiveness of programs; and investigate suspected fraud;
(6) to administer federal funds or programs;
(7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the same program;
(8) to the Department of Revenue to administer and evaluate tax refund or tax credit programs and to identify individuals who may benefit from these programs. The following information may be disclosed under this paragraph: an individual's and their dependent's names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, income, addresses, and other data as required, upon request by the Department of Revenue. Disclosures by the commissioner of human services for the purposes described in this clause are governed by section 270B.14, subdivision 1. Tax refund or tax credit programs include, but are not limited to, the dependent care credit under section 290.067, the Minnesota working family credit under section 290.0671, the property tax refund and rental credit under section 290A.04, and the Minnesota education credit under section 290.0674;
(9) between the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, and the Department of Employment and Economic Development for the purpose of monitoring the eligibility of the data subject for unemployment benefits, for any employment or training program administered, supervised, or certified by that agency, for the purpose of administering any rehabilitation program or child care assistance program, whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system, or to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by exchanging data on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L;
(10) to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the individual or other individuals or persons;
(11) data maintained by residential programs as defined in section 245A.02 may be disclosed to the protection and advocacy system established in this state according to Part C of Public Law 98-527 to protect the legal and human rights of persons with mental retardation or other related conditions who live in residential facilities for these persons if the protection and advocacy system receives a complaint by or on behalf of that person and the person does not have a legal guardian or the state or a designee of the state is the legal guardian of the person;
(12) to the county medical examiner or the county coroner for identifying or locating relatives or friends of a deceased person;
(13) data on a child support obligor who makes payments to the public agency may be disclosed to the Higher Education Services Office to the extent necessary to determine eligibility under section 136A.121, subdivision 2, clause (5);
(14) participant Social Security numbers and names collected by the telephone assistance program may be disclosed to the Department of Revenue to conduct an electronic data match with the property tax refund database to determine eligibility under section 237.70, subdivision 4a;
(15) the current address of a Minnesota family investment program participant may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who provide the name of the participant and notify the agency that:
(i) the participant:
(A) is a fugitive felon fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the individual is fleeing; or
(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law;
(ii) the location or apprehension of the felon is within the law enforcement officer's official duties; and
(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of those duties;
(16) the current address of a recipient of general assistance or general assistance medical care may be disclosed to probation officers and corrections agents who are supervising the recipient and to law enforcement officers who are investigating the recipient in connection with a felony level offense;
(17) information obtained from food support applicant or recipient households may be disclosed to local, state, or federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act, according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 272.1(c);
(18) the address, Social Security number, and, if available, photograph of any member of a household receiving food support shall be made available, on request, to a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer if the officer furnishes the agency with the name of the member and notifies the agency that:
(i) the member:
(A) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony in the jurisdiction the member is fleeing;
(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law; or
(C) has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct an official duty related to conduct described in subitem (A) or (B);
(ii) locating or apprehending the member is within the officer's official duties; and
(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of the officer's official duty;
(19) the current address of a recipient of Minnesota family investment program, general assistance, general assistance medical care, or food support may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who, in writing, provide the name of the recipient and notify the agency that the recipient is a person required to register under section 243.166, but is not residing at the address at which the recipient is registered under section 243.166;
(20) certain information regarding child support obligors who are in arrears may be made public according to section 518.575;
(21) data on child support payments made by a child support obligor and data on the distribution of those payments excluding identifying information on obligees may be disclosed to all obligees to whom the obligor owes support, and data on the enforcement actions undertaken by the public authority, the status of those actions, and data on the income of the obligor or obligee may be disclosed to the other party;
(22) data in the work reporting system may be disclosed under section 256.998, subdivision 7;
(23) to the Department of Education for the purpose of matching Department of Education student data with public assistance data to determine students eligible for free and reduced price meals, meal supplements, and free milk according to United States Code, title 42, sections 1758, 1761, 1766, 1766a, 1772, and 1773; to allocate federal and state funds that are distributed based on income of the student's family; and to verify receipt of energy assistance for the telephone assistance plan;
(24) the current address and telephone number of program recipients and emergency contacts may be released to the commissioner of health or a local board of health as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, when the commissioner or local board of health has reason to believe that a program recipient is a disease case, carrier, suspect case, or at risk of illness, and the data are necessary to locate the person;
(25) to other state agencies, statewide systems, and political subdivisions of this state, including the attorney general, and agencies of other states, interstate information networks, federal agencies, and other entities as required by federal regulation or law for the administration of the child support enforcement program;
(26) to personnel of public assistance programs as defined in section 256.741, for access to the child support system database for the purpose of administration, including monitoring and evaluation of those public assistance programs;
(27) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by exchanging data between the Departments of Human Services and Education, on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L;
(28) to evaluate child support program performance and to identify and prevent fraud in the child support program by exchanging data between the Department of Human Services, Department of Revenue under section 270B.14, subdivision 1, paragraphs (a) and (b), without regard to the limitation of use in paragraph (c), Department of Health, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other state agencies as is reasonably necessary to perform these functions; or
(29) counties operating child care assistance programs under chapter 119B may disseminate data on program participants, applicants, and providers to the commissioner of education.
(b) Information on persons who have been treated for drug or alcohol abuse may only be disclosed according to the requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, sections 2.1 to 2.67.
(c) Data provided to law enforcement agencies under paragraph (a), clause (15), (16), (17), or (18), or paragraph (b), are investigative data and are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active. The data are private after the investigation becomes inactive under section 13.82, subdivision 5, paragraph (a) or (b).
(d) Mental health data shall be treated as provided in subdivisions 7, 8, and 9, but is not subject to the access provisions of subdivision 10, paragraph (b).
For the purposes of this subdivision, a request will be deemed to be made in writing if made through a computer interface system.
Subd. 3. Investigative data. (a) Data on persons, including data on vendors of services and data on licensees, that is collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system in an investigation, authorized by statute and relating to the enforcement of rules or law, is confidential data on individuals pursuant to section 13.02, subdivision 3, or protected nonpublic data not on individuals pursuant to section 13.02, subdivision 13, and shall not be disclosed except:
(1) pursuant to section 13.05;
(2) pursuant to statute or valid court order;
(3) to a party named in a civil or criminal proceeding, administrative or judicial, for preparation of defense; or
(4) to provide notices required or permitted by statute.
The data referred to in this subdivision shall be classified as public data upon its submission to an administrative law judge or court in an administrative or judicial proceeding. Inactive welfare investigative data shall be treated as provided in section 13.39, subdivision 3.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision in law, the commissioner of human services shall provide all active and inactive investigative data, including the name of the reporter of alleged maltreatment under section 626.556 or 626.557, to the ombudsman for mental health and retardation upon the request of the ombudsman.
Subd. 4. Licensing data. (a) As used in this subdivision:
(1) "licensing data" means all data collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system pertaining to persons licensed or registered or who apply for licensure or registration or who formerly were licensed or registered under the authority of the commissioner of human services;
(2) "client" means a person who is receiving services from a licensee or from an applicant for licensure; and
(3) "personal and personal financial data" means Social Security numbers, identity of and letters of reference, insurance information, reports from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, health examination reports, and social/home studies.
(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c), the following data on current and former licensees are public: name, address, telephone number of licensees, date of receipt of a completed application, dates of licensure, licensed capacity, type of client preferred, variances granted, type of dwelling, name and relationship of other family members, previous license history, class of license, and the existence and status of complaints. When a correction order or fine has been issued, a license is suspended, immediately suspended, revoked, denied, or made conditional, or a complaint is resolved, the following data on current and former licensees are public: the substance and investigative findings of the complaint, licensing violation, or substantiated maltreatment; the record of informal resolution of a licensing violation; orders of hearing; findings of fact; conclusions of law; specifications of the final correction order, fine, suspension, immediate suspension, revocation, denial, or conditional license contained in the record of licensing action; and the status of any appeal of these actions. When an individual licensee is a substantiated perpetrator of maltreatment, and the substantiated maltreatment is a reason for the licensing action, the identity of the licensee as a perpetrator is public data. For purposes of this clause, a person is a substantiated perpetrator if the maltreatment determination has been upheld under section 626.556, subdivision 10i, 626.557, subdivision 9d, or 256.045, or an individual or facility has not timely exercised appeal rights under these sections.
(2) For applicants who withdraw their application prior to licensure or denial of a license, the following data are public: the name of the applicant, the city and county in which the applicant was seeking licensure, the dates of the commissioner's receipt of the initial application and completed application, the type of license sought, and the date of withdrawal of the application.
(3) For applicants who are denied a license, the following data are public: the name of the applicant, the city and county in which the applicant was seeking licensure, the dates of the commissioner's receipt of the initial application and completed application, the type of license sought, the date of denial of the application, the nature of the basis for the denial, and the status of any appeal of the denial.
(4) The following data on persons subject to disqualification under section 245C.14 in connection with a license to provide family day care for children, child care center services, foster care for children in the provider's home, or foster care or day care services for adults in the provider's home, are public: the nature of any disqualification set aside under section 245C.22, subdivisions 2 and 4, and the reasons for setting aside the disqualification; and the reasons for granting any variance under section 245A.04, subdivision 9.
(5) When maltreatment is substantiated under section 626.556 or 626.557 and the victim and the substantiated perpetrator are affiliated with a program licensed under chapter 245A, the commissioner of human services, local social services agency, or county welfare agency may inform the license holder where the maltreatment occurred of the identity of the substantiated perpetrator and the victim.
(c) The following are private data on individuals under section 13.02, subdivision 12, or nonpublic data under section 13.02, subdivision 9: personal and personal financial data on family day care program and family foster care program applicants and licensees and their family members who provide services under the license.
(d) The following are private data on individuals: the identity of persons who have made reports concerning licensees or applicants that appear in inactive investigative data, and the records of clients or employees of the licensee or applicant for licensure whose records are received by the licensing agency for purposes of review or in anticipation of a contested matter. The names of reporters under sections 626.556 and 626.557 may be disclosed only as provided in section 626.556, subdivision 11, or 626.557, subdivision 12b.
(e) Data classified as private, confidential, nonpublic, or protected nonpublic under this subdivision become public data if submitted to a court or administrative law judge as part of a disciplinary proceeding in which there is a public hearing concerning a license which has been suspended, immediately suspended, revoked, or denied.
(f) Data generated in the course of licensing investigations that relate to an alleged violation of law are investigative data under subdivision 3.
(g) Data that are not public data collected, maintained, used, or disseminated under this subdivision that relate to or are derived from a report as defined in section 626.556, subdivision 2, or 626.5572, subdivision 18, are subject to the destruction provisions of sections 626.556, subdivision 11c, and 626.557, subdivision 12b.
(h) Upon request, not public data collected, maintained, used, or disseminated under this subdivision that relate to or are derived from a report of substantiated maltreatment as defined in section 626.556 or 626.557 may be exchanged with the Department of Health for purposes of completing background studies pursuant to section 144.057 and with the Department of Corrections for purposes of completing background studies pursuant to section 241.021.
(i) Data on individuals collected according to licensing activities under chapters 245A and 245C, and data on individuals collected by the commissioner of human services according to maltreatment investigations under sections 626.556 and 626.557, may be shared with the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Health, the Department of Corrections, the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Retardation, and the individual's professional regulatory board when there is reason to believe that laws or standards under the jurisdiction of those agencies may have been violated.
(j) In addition to the notice of determinations required under section 626.556, subdivision 10f, if the commissioner or the local social services agency has determined that an individual is a substantiated perpetrator of maltreatment of a child based on sexual abuse, as defined in section 626.556, subdivision 2, and the commissioner or local social services agency knows that the individual is a person responsible for a child's care in another facility, the commissioner or local social services agency shall notify the head of that facility of this determination. The notification must include an explanation of the individual's available appeal rights and the status of any appeal. If a notice is given under this paragraph, the government entity making the notification shall provide a copy of the notice to the individual who is the subject of the notice.
Subd. 5. Medical data; contracts. Data relating to the medical, psychiatric, or mental health of any individual, including diagnosis, progress charts, treatment received, case histories, and opinions of health care providers, that is collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by any agency to the welfare system is private data on individuals and will be available to the data subject, unless the private health care provider has clearly requested in writing that the data be withheld pursuant to section 144.335. Data on individuals that is collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by a private health care provider under contract to any agency of the welfare system is private data on individuals, and is subject to the provisions of sections 13.02 to 13.07 and this section, except that the provisions of section 13.04, subdivision 3, shall not apply. Access to medical data referred to in this subdivision by the individual who is the subject of the data is subject to the provisions of section 144.335. Access to information that is maintained by the public authority responsible for support enforcement and that is needed to enforce medical support is subject to the provisions of section 518.171.
Subd. 6. Other data. Data collected, used, maintained, or disseminated by the welfare system that is not data on individuals is public pursuant to section 13.03, except the following data:
(a) investigative data classified by section 13.39;
(b) welfare investigative data classified by section 13.46, subdivision 3; and
(c) security information classified by section 13.37, subdivision 2.
Subd. 7. Mental health data. (a) Mental health data are private data on individuals and shall not be disclosed, except:
(1) pursuant to section 13.05, as determined by the responsible authority for the community mental health center, mental health division, or provider;
(2) pursuant to court order;
(3) pursuant to a statute specifically authorizing access to or disclosure of mental health data or as otherwise provided by this subdivision; or
(4) with the consent of the client or patient.
(b) An agency of the welfare system may not require an individual to consent to the release of mental health data as a condition for receiving services or for reimbursing a community mental health center, mental health division of a county, or provider under contract to deliver mental health services.
(c) Notwithstanding section 245.69, subdivision 2, paragraph (f), or any other law to the contrary, the responsible authority for a community mental health center, mental health division of a county, or a mental health provider must disclose mental health data to a law enforcement agency if the law enforcement agency provides the name of a client or patient and communicates that the:
(1) client or patient is currently involved in an emergency interaction with the law enforcement agency; and
(2) data is necessary to protect the health or safety of the client or patient or of another person.
The scope of disclosure under this paragraph is limited to the minimum necessary for law enforcement to respond to the emergency. Disclosure under this paragraph may include, but is not limited to, the name and telephone number of the psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, mental health professional, practitioner, or case manager of the client or patient. A law enforcement agency that obtains mental health data under this paragraph shall maintain a record of the requestor, the provider of the information, and the client or patient name. Mental health data obtained by a law enforcement agency under this paragraph are private data on individuals and must not be used by the law enforcement agency for any other purpose. A law enforcement agency that obtains mental health data under this paragraph shall inform the subject of the data that mental health data was obtained.
(d) In the event of a request under paragraph (a), clause (4), a community mental health center, county mental health division, or provider must release mental health data to Criminal Mental Health Court personnel in advance of receiving a copy of a consent if the Criminal Mental Health Court personnel communicate that the:
(1) client or patient is a defendant in a criminal case pending in the district court;
(2) data being requested is limited to information that is necessary to assess whether the defendant is eligible for participation in the Criminal Mental Health Court; and
(3) client or patient has consented to the release of the mental health data and a copy of the consent will be provided to the community mental health center, county mental health division, or provider within 72 hours of the release of the data.
For purposes of this paragraph, "Criminal Mental Health Court" refers to a specialty criminal calendar of the Hennepin County District Court for defendants with mental illness and brain injury where a primary goal of the calendar is to assess the treatment needs of the defendants and to incorporate those treatment needs into voluntary case disposition plans. The data released pursuant to this paragraph may be used for the sole purpose of determining whether the person is eligible for participation in mental health court. This paragraph does not in any way limit or otherwise extend the rights of the court to obtain the release of mental health data pursuant to court order or any other means allowed by law.
Subd. 8. Access for auditing. To the extent required by state or federal law, representatives of federal, state, or local agencies shall have access to data maintained by public or private community mental health centers, mental health divisions of counties, and other providers under contract to deliver mental health services which is necessary to achieve the purpose of auditing. Public or private community mental health centers, mental health divisions of counties, and other providers under contract to deliver mental health services shall not permit this data to identify any particular patient or client by name or contain any other unique personal identifier.
Subd. 9. Fraud. In cases of suspected fraud, in which access to mental health data maintained by public or private community mental health centers or mental health divisions of counties and other providers under contract to deliver mental health services is necessary to a proper investigation, the county board or the appropriate prosecutorial authority shall refer the matter to the commissioner of human services. The commissioner and agents of the commissioner, while maintaining the privacy rights of individuals and families, shall have access to mental health data to conduct an investigation. Upon deeming it appropriate as a result of the investigation, the commissioner shall refer the matter to the appropriate legal authorities and may disseminate to those authorities whatever mental health data are necessary to properly prosecute the case.
Subd. 10. Responsible authority. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the responsible authority for each component of the welfare system listed in subdivision 1, clause (c), shall be as follows:
(1) the responsible authority for the Department of Human Services, state hospitals, and nursing homes is the commissioner of the Department of Human Services;
(2) the responsible authority of a county welfare agency is the director of the county welfare agency;
(3) the responsible authority for a local social services agency, human services board, or community mental health center board is the chair of the board;
(4) the responsible authority of any person, agency, institution, organization, or other entity under contract to any of the components of the welfare system listed in subdivision 1, clause (c), is the person specified in the contract; and
(5) the responsible authority of the public authority for child support enforcement is the head of the public authority for child support enforcement.
(b) A responsible authority shall allow another responsible authority in the welfare system access to data classified as not public data when access is necessary for the administration and management of programs, or as authorized or required by statute or federal law.
Subd. 11. Nursing home appraisals. Names, addresses, and other data that could identify nursing homes selected as part of a random sample to be appraised by the Department of Human Services in its rate setting process are classified as protected nonpublic data until the sample has been completed.
HIST: 1979 c 328 s 15; 1980 c 603 s 23; 1980 c 615 s 34; 1981 c 311 s 39; 1982 c 545 s 8,24; 1983 c 15 s 1; 1983 c 312 art 8 s 1; 1984 c 436 s 19-24; 1984 c 579 s 1-5; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 293 s 1,2; 1985 c 298 s 13-17; 1986 c 337 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 333 s 22; 1987 c 351 s 8-11; 1987 c 352 s 1; 1988 c 598 s 3; 1989 c 209 art 1 s 4; art 2 s 2; 1989 c 282 art 5 s 1; 1989 c 351 s 6; 1990 c 568 art 3 s 1; 1990 c 573 s 6,7; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 1; 1993 c 171 s 1; 1993 c 351 s 8-10; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1994 c 618 art 1 s 10,11; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 2; 1994 c 631 s 31; 1994 c 636 art 4 s 2; 1995 c 178 art 3 s 1; 1995 c 212 art 3 s 59; 1995 c 229 art 4 s 1; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 1; 1995 c 259 art 1 s 10-12; 1996 c 412 art 1 s 1; 1996 c 440 art 1 s 13; 1997 c 85 art 4 s 1,2; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 1; 1Sp1997 c 3 s 5; 1998 c 371 s 2; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 1999 c 99 s 7; 1999 c 107 s 66; 1999 c 159 s 1,; 1999 c 205 art 1 s 1; 1999 c 227 s 22; 1999 c 241 art 9 s 1; 1999 c 245 art 7 s 1; 2000 c 260 s 87,90; 2000 c 311 art 6 s 1; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2001 c 178 art 2 s 4; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; art 14 s 1; 2002 c 375 art 1 s 2-4; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 15 art 1 s 33; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106; 2004 c 206 s 52; 2004 c 290 s 7-9