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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

176.138 MEDICAL DATA; ACCESS.
(a) Notwithstanding any other state laws related to the privacy of medical data or any
private agreements to the contrary, the release in writing, by telephone discussion, or otherwise
of medical data related to a current claim for compensation under this chapter to the employee,
employer, or insurer who are parties to the claim, or to the Department of Labor and Industry,
shall not require prior approval of any party to the claim. This section does not preclude the
release of medical data under section 175.10 or 176.231, subdivision 9. Requests for pertinent
data shall be made, and the date of discussions with medical providers about medical data shall be
confirmed, in writing to the person or organization that collected or currently possesses the data.
Written medical data that exists at the time the request is made shall be provided by the collector
or possessor within seven working days of receiving the request. Nonwritten medical data may be
provided, but is not required to be provided, by the collector or possessor. In all cases of a request
for the data or discussion with a medical provider about the data, except when it is the employee
who is making the request, the employee shall be sent written notification of the request by the
party requesting the data at the same time the request is made or a written confirmation of the
discussion. This data shall be treated as private data by the party who requests or receives the data
and the party receiving the data shall provide the employee or the employee's attorney with a
copy of all data requested by the requester.
(b) Medical data which is not directly related to a current injury or disability shall not be
released without prior authorization of the employee.
(c) The commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $600 payable to the commissioner for
deposit in the assigned risk safety account against a party who does not timely release data as
required in this section. A party who does not treat this data as private pursuant to this section is
guilty of a misdemeanor. This paragraph applies only to written medical data which exists at the
time the request is made.
(d) Workers' compensation insurers and self-insured employers may, for the sole purpose
of identifying duplicate billings submitted to more than one insurer, disclose to health insurers,
including all insurers writing insurance described in section 60A.06, subdivision 1, clause
(5)(a), nonprofit health service plan corporations subject to chapter 62C, health maintenance
organizations subject to chapter 62D, and joint self-insurance employee health plans subject
to chapter 62H, computerized information about dates, coded items, and charges for medical
treatment of employees and other medical billing information submitted to them by an
employee, employer, health care provider, or other insurer in connection with a current claim for
compensation under this chapter, without prior approval of any party to the claim. The data may
not be used by the health insurer for any other purpose whatsoever and must be destroyed after
verification that there has been no duplicative billing. Any person who is the subject of the data
which is used in a manner not allowed by this paragraph has a cause of action for actual damages
and punitive damages for a minimum of $5,000.
History: 1983 c 290 s 109; 1984 c 432 art 2 s 26; 1985 c 234 s 12; 1986 c 461 s 22; 1990 c
522 s 4; 1992 c 510 art 3 s 15; 1995 c 231 art 2 s 67; 2001 c 123 s 10