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Second Regular Session of the 122nd

H.P. 984 - L.D. 1420

An Act To Establish a Maternal and Infant Death Review Panel

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

     Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §261 is enacted to read:

§261. Maternal and infant death review panel

     The department shall establish the maternal and infant death review panel in accordance with this section.

     1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

     2. Membership. The panel consists of health care and social service providers, public health officials, law enforcement officers and other persons with professional expertise on maternal and infant health and mortality. The director shall appoint the members of the panel, who serve at the pleasure of the director. The director shall appoint an employee of the center to serve as panel coordinator.

     3. Contact with authorized representatives. The first contact pursuant to this section with a parent or parents or other authorized representative of a deceased person may not occur prior to 4 months after the death and must:

     4. Duties and powers of panel coordinator. The panel coordinator has the following duties and powers.

     5. Duties and powers of panel. The panel has the following duties and powers.

     6. Limitations. The panel coordinator may not proceed with reviews of medical records or voluntary interviews without the permission of the parent or parents or other authorized representative of the deceased person. The panel coordinator may not photocopy or retain copies of medical records. In performing work under this section, the panel coordinator shall minimize the burden imposed on health care practitioners, hospitals and facilities.

     7. Confidentiality. All records created or maintained pursuant to this section, other than reports provided under subsection 5, paragraph B, are protected as provided in this subsection. The records are confidential under section 42, subsection 5. The records are not open to public inspection, are not public records for the purposes of Title 1, chapter 13, subchapter 1 and are not subject to subpoena or civil process nor admissible in evidence in connection with any judicial, executive, legislative or other proceeding.

     8. Immunity. A health care practitioner, hospital or health care facility or the employee or agent of that person or entity is not subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the disclosure or furnishing of records or information to the panel pursuant to this section.

     9. Funding. The department may accept any public or private funds to carry out the purposes of this section.

     10. Rulemaking. The department shall adopt rules to implement this section, including rules on collecting information and data, selecting members of the panel, collecting and using individually identifiable health information and conducting reviews under this section. The rules must ensure that access to individually identifiable health information is restricted as much as possible while enabling the panel to accomplish its work. The rules must establish a protocol to preserve confidentiality, specify the manner in which family and authorized representatives will be contacted for permission and maintain public confidence in the protection of individually identifiable information. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

     11. Repeal. This section is repealed January 1, 2011.

Effective August 23, 2006.

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