Focus on New Laws: Mental Health Data Sharing With Law Enforcement

June 27, 2022

New provisions allow limited mental health data and health records to be shared with law enforcement.

The omnibus health and human services policy bill, Chapter 98, amends Minnesota Statutes, section 13.46, to allow for mental health data sharing with law enforcement in a “mental health crisis,” as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.0624, subdivision 2(j), replacing the current standard of “emergency interaction.” The law will take effect on July 1.

The law also amends Minnesota Statutes, section 13.46, subdivision 7 to limit the scope of disclosure to only “safely respond to the mental health crisis” and may include:

  1. Name and telephone number of the psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, mental health professional, practitioner, or case manager of the client or patient if known.
  2. Strategies to address the mental health crisis.

Health Records Act conforming changes

The law also amends Minnesota Statutes, section 144.294, subdivision 2 to make similar changes. It parallels the existing responsibility in Minnesota Statutes, section 13.46, subdivision 7 for law enforcement agencies that obtain information under this section to inform the patient that such information was obtained.

Written policy requirement

Section 20 of the law creates a new section, Minnesota Statutes, section 626.8477, requiring the chief law enforcement officer of a local law enforcement agency that seeks or uses mental health data under section 13.46 or health records under section 144.294 to establish and enforce a written policy governing its use.

Minimally, the written policy must incorporate:

  • The requirements of section 13.46, subdivision 7, paragraph (c).
  • The requirements of section 144.294, subdivision 2.
  • The access procedures, retention policies, and data security safeguards that meet the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13, and any other applicable law.

Multidisciplinary adult protection teams

Minnesota Statutes, section 626.5571, subdivision 1 is also amended to include local law enforcement agencies and community corrections agencies as members of multidisciplinary adult protection teams.

LMC model policy and memo

The League is working on a mental health data sharing model policy and memo and will be sharing it with cities soon.

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