House Bill No. 333
Introduced By soft, mcgee, grimes, denny, r. johnson, kottel
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act establishing the policy of the state to prevent fetal, infant, and child deaths; encouraging fetal, infant, and child mortality review through the creation of voluntary fetal, infant, and child mortality review teams; providing access to information necessary to the work of fetal, infant, and child mortality review teams; providing civil and criminal penalties for unlawful use or disclosure of that information; amending sections 44-5-303, 50-16-525, and 50-19-323, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Short title. [Sections 1 through 6] may be cited as the "Fetal, Infant, and Child Mortality Prevention Act".
Section 2. Statement of policy -- access to information. (1) The prevention of fetal, infant, and child deaths is both the policy of the state of Montana and a community responsibility. Many community professionals have expertise that can be used to promote the health, safety, and welfare of fetuses, infants, and children. The use of these professionals in reviewing fetal, infant, and child deaths can lead to a greater understanding of the causes of death and the methods of preventing deaths. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage local communities to establish voluntary multidisciplinary fetal, infant, and child mortality review teams to study the incidence and causes of fetal, infant, and child deaths.
(2) A health care provider may disclose information about a patient without the patient's authorization or without the authorization of the representative of a patient who is deceased upon request of a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team. The review team may request and may receive information from a county attorney as provided in 44-5-303(4) and from a health care provider as provided in 50-16-525 after the review team has considered whether the disclosure of the information by the provider satisfies the criteria provided in 50-16-529(6). The review team shall maintain the confidentiality of the information received.
(3) The local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team may only:
(a) compile statistics of fetal, infant, and child mortality;
(b) analyze the preventable causes of fetal, infant, and child deaths, including child abuse and neglect; and
(c) recommend measures to prevent future fetal, infant, and child deaths.
Section 3. Local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team. (1) A local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team must be approved by the county health department. Approval must be given if:
(a) the county health department has designated a lead person for the purposes of management of the review team;
(b) at least five of the individuals listed in subsection (2) have agreed to serve on the review team; and
(c) the five individuals have developed a plan that includes, at a minimum, operating policies of the review team covering collection and destruction of information obtained pursuant to 44-5-303(4) or [section 2(2)].
(2) If a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team is established, the team must be multidisciplinary and may include only:
(a) the county attorney or a designee;
(b) a law enforcement officer;
(c) the medical examiner or coroner for the jurisdiction;
(d) a physician;
(e) a school district representative;
(f) a representative of the local health department;
(g) a representative of the department of public health and human services;
(h) a forensic pathologist;
(i) a pediatrician;
(j) a family practice physician;
(k) an obstetrician;
(l) a nurse practitioner;
(m) a public health nurse;
(n) a mental health professional;
(o) a local trauma coordinator;
(p) a representative, appointed by the tribal government, of an Indian reservation that is located in whole or in part within the boundaries of the county;
(q) a representative of the bureau of Indian affairs or the Indian health service, or both, who is located within the county; and
(r) representatives of the following:
(i) local emergency medical services;
(ii) a local hospital;
(iii) a local hospital medical records department;
(iv) a local fire department; and
(v) the local registrar.
Section 4. Records -- confidentiality. Material and information obtained by a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team are not subject to disclosure under the public records law. Material and information obtained by a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team are not subject to subpoena unless the material and information are reviewed by a district court judge and ordered to be provided to the person seeking access.
Section 5. Unauthorized disclosure by review team member -- civil penalty. A person aggrieved by the use of information obtained pursuant to [section 2(2)] for a purpose not authorized by [section 2(3)] or by a disclosure of that information in violation of [section 2(2)] by a member of a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team may bring a civil action in the district court of the county of the person's residence for damages, costs, and fees as provided in 50-16-553(6) through (8).
Section 6. Unauthorized disclosure by review team member -- misdemeanor. A member of a local fetal, infant, and child mortality review team who knowingly uses information obtained pursuant to [section 2(2)] for a purpose not authorized by [section 2(3)] or who discloses that information in violation of [section 2(2)] is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable as provided in 50-16-551.
Section 7. Section 44-5-303, MCA, is amended to read:
"44-5-303. Dissemination of confidential criminal justice information. (1) Except as provided in
subsections (2) through (4), dissemination of confidential criminal justice information is restricted to criminal justice
agencies, to those authorized by law to receive it, and to those authorized to receive it by a district court upon a written
finding that the demands of individual privacy do not clearly exceed the merits of public disclosure.
(2) If the prosecutor determines that dissemination of confidential criminal justice information would not jeopardize a pending investigation or other criminal proceeding, the information may be disseminated to a victim of the offense by the prosecutor or by the investigating law enforcement agency after consultation with the prosecutor.
(3) Unless otherwise ordered by a court, a person or criminal justice agency that accepts confidential criminal justice information assumes equal responsibility for the security of the information with the originating agency. Whenever confidential criminal justice information is disseminated, it must be designated as confidential.
(4) The county attorney or the county attorney's designee is authorized to receive confidential criminal justice information for the purpose of cooperating with local fetal, infant, and child mortality review teams. The county attorney or the county attorney's designee may, in that person's discretion, disclose information determined necessary to the goals of the review team. The review team and the county attorney or the designee shall maintain the confidentiality of the information."
Section 8. Section 50-16-525, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-16-525. Disclosure by health care provider. (1) Except as authorized in 50-16-529,
and 50-16-530, and [section 2]
or as otherwise specifically provided by law or the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, a health care provider, an individual
who assists a health care provider in the delivery of health care, or an agent or employee of a health care provider may not
disclose health care information about a patient to any other person without the patient's written authorization. A disclosure
made under a patient's written authorization must conform to the authorization.
(2) A health care provider shall maintain, in conjunction with a patient's recorded health care information, a record of each person who has received or examined, in whole or in part, the recorded health care information during the preceding 3 years, except for a person who has examined the recorded health care information under 50-16-529(1) or (2). The record of disclosure must include the name, address, and institutional affiliation, if any, of each person receiving or examining the recorded health care information, the date of the receipt or examination, and to the extent practicable a description of the information disclosed."
Section 9. Section 50-19-323, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-19-323. Coordination of programs. The department shall coordinate services under the MIAMI project with other services and programs in the state including:
(1) the early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment services program under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act;
(2) the Montana medicaid program established in 53-6-101;
(3) programs administered with funds under the federal Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Act, Public Law 97-35, as may be amended; and
(4) the services of fetal, infant, and child mortality teams as provided in [sections 1 through 6]."
Section 10. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 6] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 50, chapter 19, and the provisions of Title 50, chapter 19, apply to [sections 1 through 6].
Section 11. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.