The commissioner of health may conduct maternal death studies to assist the planning, implementation, and evaluation of medical, health, and welfare service systems and to reduce the numbers of preventable maternal deaths in Minnesota.
(a) The commissioner of health has access to medical data as defined in section 13.384, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), medical examiner data as defined in section 13.83, subdivision 1, and health records created, maintained, or stored by providers as defined in section 144.291, subdivision 2, paragraph (h), without the consent of the subject of the data, and without the consent of the parent, spouse, other guardian, or legal representative of the subject of the data, when the subject of the data is a woman who died during a pregnancy or within 12 months of a fetal death, a live birth, or other termination of a pregnancy.
The commissioner has access only to medical data and health records related to deaths that occur on or after July 1, 2000.
(b) The provider or responsible authority that creates, maintains, or stores the data shall furnish the data upon the request of the commissioner. The provider or responsible authority may charge a fee for providing the data, not to exceed the actual cost of retrieving and duplicating the data.
(c) The commissioner shall make a good faith reasonable effort to notify the parent, spouse, other guardian, or legal representative of the subject of the data before collecting data on the subject. For purposes of this paragraph, "reasonable effort" means one notice is sent by certified mail to the last known address of the parent, spouse, guardian, or legal representative informing the recipient of the data collection and offering a public health nurse support visit if desired.
(d) The commissioner does not have access to coroner or medical examiner data that are part of an active investigation as described in section 13.83.
After the commissioner has collected all data about a subject of a maternal death study needed to perform the study, the data from source records obtained under subdivision 2, other than data identifying the subject, must be transferred to separate records to be maintained by the commissioner. Notwithstanding section 138.17, after the data have been transferred, all source records obtained under subdivision 2 possessed by the commissioner must be destroyed.
(a) Data provided to the commissioner from source records under subdivision 2, including identifying information on individual providers, data subjects, or their children, and data derived by the commissioner under subdivision 3 for the purpose of carrying out maternal death studies, are classified as confidential data on individuals or confidential data on decedents, as defined in sections 13.02, subdivision 3, and 13.10, subdivision 1, paragraph (a).
(b) Information classified under paragraph (a) shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding. Such information otherwise available from an original source shall not be immune from discovery or barred from introduction into evidence merely because it was utilized by the commissioner in carrying out maternal death studies.
(c) Summary data on maternal death studies created by the commissioner, which does not identify individual data subjects or individual providers, shall be public in accordance with section 13.05, subdivision 7.