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51.30(4)(b)25. 25. If the treatment records do not contain information and the circumstances of the release do not provide information that would permit the identification of the individual.
51.30(4)(b)26. 26. To the department of corrections or to a sheriff, to determine if a person incarcerated is complying with the assessment or the driver safety plan ordered under s. 343.30 (1q) (c).
51.30(4)(b)27. 27. For the purpose of entering information concerning the subject individual into the statewide automated child welfare information system established under s. 48.47 (7g).
51.30(4)(b)28. 28. To the department of justice, under the requirements of ss. 51.20 (13) (cv) 4. and 51.45 (13) (i) 4.
51.30(4)(c) (c) Limitation on release of alcohol and drug treatment records. Notwithstanding par. (b), whenever federal law or applicable federal regulations restrict, or as a condition to receipt of federal aids require that this state restrict the release of information contained in the treatment records of any patient who receives treatment for alcoholism or drug dependency in a program or facility to a greater extent than permitted under this section, the department may by rule restrict the release of such information as may be necessary to comply with federal law and regulations. Rules promulgated under this paragraph shall supersede this section with respect to alcoholism and drug dependency treatment records in those situations in which they apply.
51.30(4)(cg) (cg) Limited release of information of foster children. If the subject of a treatment record is a child who is placed in out-of-home care, a health care provider may disclose to an out-of-home care provider, as defined in s. 48.02 (12r), and a child welfare agency without informed written consent a portion, but not a copy, of the child's treatment record that the health care provider reasonably believes is necessary for the proper care of the child, such as the diagnosis, treatment plan, and medication management plan.
51.30(4)(cm) (cm) Required access to certain information. Notwithstanding par. (a), treatment records of an individual shall, upon request, be released without informed written consent, except as restricted under par. (c), to the parent, child, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner under ch. 770 of an individual who is or was a patient at an inpatient facility; to a law enforcement officer who is seeking to determine whether an individual is on unauthorized absence from the facility; and to mental health professionals who are providing treatment to the individual at the time that the information is released to others. Information released under this paragraph is limited to notice as to whether or not an individual is a patient at the inpatient facility and, if the individual is no longer a patient at the inpatient facility, the facility or other place, if known, at which the individual is located. This paragraph does not apply under any of the following circumstances:
51.30(4)(cm)1. 1. To the individual's parent, child, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner under ch. 770 who is requesting information, if the individual has specifically requested that the information be withheld from the parent, child, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner.
51.30(4)(cm)2. 2. If, in the opinion of the inpatient facility, there is reasonable cause to believe that disclosure of the information would result in danger to the individual.
51.30(4)(d) (d) Individual access.
51.30(4)(d)1.1. Access to treatment records by a subject individual during his or her treatment may be restricted by the director of the treatment facility. However, access may not be denied at any time to records of all medications and somatic treatments received by the individual.
51.30(4)(d)2. 2. The subject individual shall have a right, following discharge under s. 51.35 (4), to a complete record of all medications and somatic treatments prescribed during admission or commitment and to a copy of the discharge summary which was prepared at the time of his or her discharge. A reasonable and uniform charge for reproduction may be assessed.
51.30(4)(d)3. 3. In addition to the information provided under subd. 2., the subject individual shall, following discharge, if the individual so requests, have access to and have the right to receive from the facility a photostatic copy of any or all of his or her treatment records. A reasonable and uniform charge for reproduction may be assessed. The director of the treatment facility or such person's designee and the treating physician have a right to be present during inspection of any treatment records. Notice of inspection of treatment records shall be provided to the director of the treatment facility and the treating physician at least one full day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, before inspection of the records is made. Treatment records may be modified prior to inspection to protect the confidentiality of other patients or the names of any other persons referred to in the record who gave information subject to the condition that his or her identity remain confidential. Entire documents may not be withheld in order to protect such confidentiality.
51.30(4)(d)4. 4. At the time of discharge all individuals shall be informed by the director of the treatment facility or such person's designee of their rights as provided in this subsection.
51.30(4)(dm) (dm) Destruction, damage, falsification or concealment of treatment records. No person may do any of the following:
51.30(4)(dm)1. 1. Intentionally falsify a treatment record.
51.30(4)(dm)2. 2. Conceal or withhold a treatment record with intent to prevent its release to the subject individual under par. (d), to his or her guardian, or to persons with the informed written consent of the subject individual or with intent to prevent or obstruct an investigation or prosecution.
51.30(4)(dm)3. 3. Intentionally destroy or damage records in order to prevent or obstruct an investigation or prosecution.
51.30(4)(e) (e) Notation of release of information. Each time written information is released from a treatment record, a notation shall be made in the record by the custodian thereof that includes the following: the name of the person to whom the information was released; the identification of the information released; the purpose of the release; and the date of the release. The subject individual shall have access to such release data as provided in par. (d).
51.30(4)(f) (f) Correction of information. A subject individual, the parent, guardian, or person in the place of a parent of a minor, or the guardian of an individual adjudicated incompetent may, after having gained access to treatment records, challenge the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or relevance of factual information in his or her treatment records and request in writing that the facility maintaining the record correct the challenged information. The request shall be granted or denied within 30 days by the director of the treatment facility, the director of the county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437, or the secretary depending upon which person has custody of the record. Reasons for denial of the requested changes shall be given by the responsible officer and the individual shall be informed of any applicable grievance procedure or court review procedure. If the request is denied, the individual, parent, guardian, or person in the place of a parent shall be allowed to insert into the record a statement correcting or amending the information at issue. The statement shall become a part of the record and shall be released whenever the information at issue is released.
51.30(4)(g) (g) Applicability. Paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (dm) and (e) apply to all treatment records, including those on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, electromagnetic or digital information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics.
51.30(5) (5) Minors and incompetents.
51.30(5)(a)(a) Consent for release of information. The parent, guardian, or person in the place of a parent of a minor or the guardian of an adult adjudicated incompetent in this state may consent to the release of confidential information in court or treatment records. A minor who is aged 14 or more may consent to the release of confidential information in court or treatment records without the consent of the minor's parent, guardian or person in the place of a parent. Consent under this paragraph must conform to the requirements of sub. (2).
51.30(5)(b) (b) Access to information.
51.30(5)(b)1.1. The guardian of an individual who is adjudicated incompetent in this state shall have access to the individual's court and treatment records at all times. The parent, guardian or person in the place of a parent of a developmentally disabled minor shall have access to the minor's court and treatment records at all times except in the case of a minor aged 14 or older who files a written objection to such access with the custodian of the records. The parent, guardian or person in the place of a parent of other minors shall have the same rights of access as provided to subject individuals under this section.
51.30(5)(b)2. 2. A minor who is aged 14 or older shall have access to his or her own court and treatment records, as provided in this section. A minor under the age of 14 shall have access to court records but only in the presence of a parent, guardian, counsel, guardian ad litem or judge and shall have access to treatment records as provided in this section but only in the presence of a parent, guardian, counsel, guardian ad litem or staff member of the treatment facility.
51.30(5)(bm) (bm) Parents denied physical placement. A parent who has been denied periods of physical placement with a child under s. 767.41 (4) (b) or 767.451 (4) may not have the rights of a parent or guardian under pars. (a) and (b) with respect to access to that child's court or treatment records.
51.30(5)(c) (c) Juvenile court records. The court records of juveniles admitted or committed under this chapter shall be kept separately from all other juvenile court records.
51.30(5)(d) (d) Other juvenile records. Sections 48.78 and 938.78 do not apply to records covered by this section.
51.30(5)(e) (e) Temporary guardian for adult alleged to be incompetent. If an adult is alleged to be incompetent, under the requirements of s. 54.10 (3), to consent to the release of records under this section, but no guardian has been appointed for the individual, consent for the release of records may be given by a temporary guardian who is appointed for the purpose of deciding upon the release of records.
51.30(5)(f) (f) Applicability. Paragraph (a) and (bm) to (e) apply to all treatment records, including those on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, electromagnetic or digital information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics.
51.30(6) (6) Privileges. Sections 905.03 and 905.04 supersede this section with respect to communications between physicians and patients and between attorneys and clients.
51.30(7) (7) Criminal commitments. Except as otherwise specifically provided, this section applies to the treatment records of persons who are committed under chs. 971 and 975.
51.30(8) (8) Grievances. Failure to comply with any provisions of this section may be processed as a grievance under s. 51.61 (5), except that a grievance resolution procedure option made available to the patient, as required under s. 457.04 (8), applies to failures to comply by a licensed mental health professional who is not affiliated with a county department or treatment facility. However, use of the grievance procedure is not required before bringing any civil action or filing a criminal complaint under this section.
51.30(9) (9) Actions for violations; damages; injunction.
51.30(9)(a) (a) Any person, including the state or any political subdivision of the state, violating this section shall be liable to any person damaged as a result of the violation for such damages as may be proved, together with exemplary damages of not more than $1,000 for each violation and such costs and reasonable actual attorney fees as may be incurred by the person damaged.
51.30(9)(b) (b) In any action brought under par. (a) in which the court determines that the violator acted in a manner that was knowing and willful, the violator shall be liable for such damages as may be proved together with exemplary damages of not more than $25,000 for each violation, together with costs and reasonable actual attorney fees as may be incurred. It is not a prerequisite to an action under this subsection that the plaintiff suffer or be threatened with actual damages.
51.30(9)(c) (c) An individual may bring an action to enjoin any violation of this section or to compel compliance with this section, and may in the same action seek damages as provided in this subsection. The individual may recover costs and reasonable actual attorney fees as may be incurred in the action, if he or she prevails.
51.30(10) (10) Penalties.
51.30(10)(a)(a) Whoever does any of the following may be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both:
51.30(10)(a)1. 1. Requests or obtains confidential information under this section under false pretenses.
51.30(10)(a)2. 2. Discloses confidential information under this section with knowledge that the disclosure is unlawful and is not reasonably necessary to protect another from harm.
51.30(10)(a)3. 3. Violates sub. (4) (dm) 1., 2. or 3.
51.30(10)(b) (b) Whoever negligently discloses confidential information under this section is subject to a forfeiture of not more than $1,000 for each violation.
51.30(10)(bm) (bm) Whoever intentionally discloses confidential information under this section, knowing that the information is confidential, and discloses the information for pecuniary gain may be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned not more than 3 years and 6 months, or both.
51.30(11) (11) Discipline of employees. Any employee of the department, a county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 or a public treatment facility who violates this section or any rule promulgated pursuant to this section may be subject to discharge or suspension without pay.
51.30(12) (12) Rule making. The department shall promulgate rules to implement this section.
51.30 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. DHS 1 and 92, Wis. adm. code.
51.30 Annotation By entering a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, a defendant lost the physician-patient privilege by virtue of s. 905.04 (4) (c) and lost confidentiality of treatment records under s. 51.30 (4) (b) 4. State v. Taylor, 142 Wis. 2d 36, 417 N.W.2d 192 (Ct. App. 1987).
51.30 Annotation Sec. 905.04 supersedes this section with respect to all relationships listed in s. 905.04 and is not strictly limited to the physician-patient relationship. State v. S.H. 159 Wis. 2d 730, 465 N.W.2d 238 (Ct. App. 1990).
51.30 Annotation The release of court records “pursuant to lawful order of the court" under sub. (3) is allowable when access fits within or is comparable to one of the exceptions for treatment records under sub. (4) (b) or when a significant interrelationship exists between the records of the civil commitment proceeding at issue and a criminal proceeding involving a violent felony pending prior to the civil commitment. Mental condition of Billy Jo W. 182 Wis. 2d 616, 514 N.W.2d 707 (1994).
51.30 Annotation Information contained in a treatment record but obtained from another source is not subject to the treatment-records privilege under this section, except that all information that identifies a person as a patient is privileged. Daniel A. v. Walter H. 195 Wis. 2d 971, 537 N.W.2d 103 (Ct. App. 1995), 92-1676.
51.30 Annotation This section provides an exception to the open records law. Nothing in this section or rules adopted under this section suggests that the director is to weigh the harm to the public interest against the benefit to the public in deciding on access to records. State ex rel. Savinski v. Kimble, 221 Wis. 2d 833, 586 N.W.2d 36 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-3356.
51.30 Annotation The subject individual of treatment records is the one who receives treatment. Another person mentioned in the records is not a subject individual and not protected by this section. Olson v. Red Cedar Clinic, 2004 WI App 102, 273 Wis. 2d 728, 681 N.W.2d 306, 03-2198.
51.30 Annotation Statements of emergency detention in the possession of a treatment facility, or a department listed in this section, or in the possession of the police department, are “treatment records" within the meaning of sub. (1) (b), which are expressly exempt from disclosure without written informed consent or a court order under sub. (4) and thus not subject to an open records request. Watton v. Hegerty, 2008 WI 74, 311 Wis. 2d 52, 751 N.W.2d 369, 06-3092.
51.30 Annotation Sub (4) on its face, and as interpreted in Watton, prohibits the release of copies of statements of emergency detention, even if in the possession of the police department. Applying Watton, it would be absurd to construe the plain language of sub. (4) to permit release of the police incident report when it contains the same information as the expressly confidential statement of emergency detention. Although Schuster v. Altenberg, 144 Wis. 2d 223, imposes a duty to warn a person threatened with harm on a psychiatrist who hears the threat from a patient, it does not create a public policy exception to sub. (4). Milwaukee Deputy Sheriff's Association v. City of Wauwatosa, 2010 WI App 95, 327 Wis. 2d 206, 787 N.W.2d 438, 09-1924.
51.30 Annotation Under the broad terms of sub. (7), the confidentiality requirements created under this section generally apply to “treatment records" in criminal not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) cases. All conditional release plans in NGI cases are, by statutory definition, treatment records. They are “created in the course of providing services to individuals for mental illness," and thus should be deemed confidential. An order of placement in an NGI case is not a “treatment record." La Crosse Tribune v. Circuit Court for La Crosse County, 2012 WI App 42, 340 Wis. 2d 663, 814 N.W.2d 867, 10-3120.
51.30 Annotation This section assigns confidential status to records involving treatment for mental illness. The meaning of “shall" in sub. (4) (a) is established. If the confidentiality provision applies, a court must treat the records as confidential, unless an enumerated exception contained in sub. (4) (b) applies, or there is a circumstance that is comparable to an enumerated exception. La Crosse Tribune v. Circuit Court for La Crosse County, 2012 WI App 42, 340 Wis. 2d 663, 814 N.W.2d 867, 10-3120.
51.30 Annotation The duty to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect under s. 48.981 (3) (a) prevails over any inconsistent terms in s. 51.30. 68 Atty. Gen. 342.
51.30 Annotation Except for those services for which parental consent is necessary under s. 51.47 (2), a physician or health care facility may release outpatient or detoxification services information only with consent of a minor patient, provided the minor is 12 years of age or over. 77 Atty. Gen. 187.
51.30 Annotation Balancing Federal and Wisconsin Medical Privacy Laws. Hartin. Wis. Law. June 2003.
51.35 51.35 Transfers and discharges.
51.35(1)(1)Transfer of patients and residents.
51.35(1)(a) (a) Subject to pars. (b), (d), and (dm), the department or the county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 may transfer any patient or resident who is committed to it, or who is admitted to a treatment facility under its supervision or operating under an agreement with it, between treatment facilities or from a treatment facility into the community if the transfer is consistent with reasonable medical and clinical judgment, consistent with s. 51.22 (5), and, if the transfer results in a greater restriction of personal freedom for the patient or resident, in accordance with par. (e). Terms and conditions that will benefit the patient or resident may be imposed as part of a transfer to a less restrictive treatment alternative. A patient or resident who is committed to the department or a county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 may be required to take medications and receive treatment, subject to the right of the patient or resident to refuse medication and treatment under s. 51.61 (1) (g) and (h), through a community support program as a term or condition of a transfer. The patient or resident shall be informed at the time of transfer of the consequences of violating the terms and conditions of the transfer, including possible transfer back to a treatment facility that imposes a greater restriction on personal freedom of the patient or resident.
51.35(1)(b)1.1. Except as provided in pars. (c) and (d), a transfer of a patient in a mental health institute by the department is subject to the approval of the appropriate county department under ss. 51.42 and 51.437 to which the patient was committed or through which the patient was admitted to the mental health institute.
51.35(1)(b)2. 2. Except as provided in pars. (c) and (d), a transfer of a resident of a center for the developmentally disabled by the department is subject to the approval of the appropriate county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 to which the resident was committed or through which the resident was admitted to the center.
51.35(1)(b)3. 3. Except as provided in pars. (c) and (d), a transfer of a patient in a treatment facility other than as specified in subd. 1. or 2. may be made by the department only after the department has notified the appropriate county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 of its intent to transfer the patient. The patient's guardian, if any, or if a minor his or her parent or person in the place of a parent shall be notified by the department.
51.35(1)(bm) (bm) Transfer of a resident by a county department to a center for the developmentally disabled is subject to s. 51.06 (3).
51.35(1)(c) (c) The department may, without approval of the county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437, transfer any patient from a treatment facility to another treatment facility when the condition of the patient requires such transfer without delay. The department shall notify the appropriate county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 that the transfer has been made. Any patient so transferred may be returned to the treatment facility from which the transfer was made, upon orders from the department or the county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437, when the return would be in the best interests of the patient.
51.35(1)(d)1.1. Subject to subd. 2. and par. (dm), the department may, without approval of the appropriate county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437, transfer any patient from a state treatment facility or other inpatient facility to an approved treatment facility which is less restrictive of the patient's personal freedom.
51.35(1)(d)2. 2. Transfer under this paragraph may be made only if the transfer is consistent with the requirements of par. (a), and the department finds that the appropriate county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 is unable to locate an approved treatment facility in the community, or that the county department has acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner to prevent the transfer of the patient out of the state treatment facility or other inpatient facility contrary to medical and clinical judgment.
51.35(1)(dm) (dm) The department may not exercise its authority under par. (a) or (d) 1. to transfer a resident of the southern center for the developmentally disabled to a less restrictive setting unless the resident's guardian or, if the resident is a minor and does not have a guardian, the resident's parent provides explicit written approval and consent for the transfer.
51.35(1)(e)1.1. Whenever any transfer between different treatment facilities results in a greater restriction of personal freedom for the patient and whenever the patient is transferred from outpatient to inpatient status, the department or the county department specified under par. (a) shall inform the patient both orally and in writing of his or her right to contact an attorney and a member of his or her immediate family, the right to have counsel provided at public expense, as provided under s. 51.60, and the right to petition a court in the county in which the patient is located or the committing court for a review of the transfer.
51.35(1)(e)2. 2. In addition to the rights and requirements specified in subd. 1., within 24 hours after any transfer which results in a greater restriction of personal freedom for the patient for a period of more than 5 days or any transfer from outpatient to inpatient status for a period of more than 5 days and if the transfer is due to an alleged violation of a condition of a transfer to less restrictive treatment, the department or the county department specified under par. (a) shall ensure that the patient is provided a written statement of the reasons for the transfer and the facts supporting the transfer and oral and written notice of all of the following:
51.35(1)(e)2.a. a. The requirements and rights under subds. 3. to 5.
51.35(1)(e)2.b. b. The patient's right to counsel.
51.35(1)(e)2.c. c. The patient's right to have counsel provided at public expense, as provided under s. 51.60.
51.35(1)(e)2.d. d. The rights of the patient's counsel to investigate the facts specified in the written statement of reasons for the transfer, to consult with the patient prior to the patient's waiving a hearing under subd. 3., to represent the patient at all proceedings on issues relating to the transfer, and to take any legal steps necessary to challenge the transfer.
51.35(1)(e)3. 3. Within 10 days after the transfer specified in subd. 2., a hearing shall be held on whether the form of treatment resulting from the transfer is least restrictive of the patient's personal liberty, consistent with the treatment needs of the patient, and on whether the patient violated a condition of a transfer to less restrictive treatment that resulted in a transfer under subd. 2. The hearing shall be held before a hearing officer designated by the director of the facility to which the patient has been transferred. The hearing officer may not be a person who has had direct responsibility for making treatment decisions for or providing treatment to the subject individual. The patient may appear at the hearing, either personally or by counsel, and may present and cross-examine witnesses and present documentary evidence. The hearing may be waived by the patient only after consultation with counsel. Any waiver made shall be in writing and witnessed by the patient's counsel.
51.35(1)(e)4. 4. The department or the county department seeking the transfer has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the form of treatment resulting from the transfer is least restrictive of the patient's personal liberty, consistent with the treatment needs of the patient, and that the patient violated a condition of a transfer to less restrictive treatment that resulted in a transfer under subd. 2. Hearsay evidence is admissible if the hearing officer makes a determination that the evidence is reliable. Hearsay evidence may not be the sole basis for the decision of the hearing officer.
51.35(1)(e)5. 5. The hearing officer shall, as soon as possible after the hearing, issue a written statement setting forth his or her decision, the reasons for the decision and the facts upon which the decision is based. Within 30 days after the date on which the statement is issued, the patient or the department or the county department seeking the transfer may appeal the decision to a court in the county in which the facility to which the patient has been transferred is located or to the committing court.
51.35(1)(e)6. 6. This paragraph does not apply to a return to a more restrictive facility if the return occurs within 7 days after a temporary transfer from that facility and the return was part of a previously established plan of which the patient was notified at the time of the temporary transfer. This paragraph does not apply to a return of an inmate to a state or county treatment facility under s. 51.20 (13) (cm).
51.35(1)(f) (f) The transfer of a patient or resident to a medical facility for nonpsychiatric medical services does not constitute a transfer within the meaning of this chapter and does not require the procedural protections for return to the original facility which are required by this section for other transfers.
51.35(2) (2) Transfer of certain developmentally disabled patients. The department may authorize a transfer of a patient from a center for the developmentally disabled to a state treatment facility if the patient is mentally ill and exhibits conduct which constitutes a danger as described in s. 51.20 (1) (a) 2. to himself or herself or to others in the treatment facility where he or she is present. The department shall file a statement of emergency detention with the committing court within 24 hours after receiving the person for emergency detention. The statement shall conform to the requirements specified in s. 51.15 (4).
51.35(3) (3) Transfer of certain juveniles from secured juvenile facilities.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)