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S.F. No. 1004 - Modifies the Law Establishing the Office of Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Author: Senator John A. Hoffman
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: February 21, 2017


Section 1 (245.91, subd. 4) expands the definition of “facility or program” to include any agency, facility or program providing services for mental illness, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency, or emotional disturbances that is licensed, certified, or registered by the Commissioner of Human Services, health, or education.  Existing law limited this definition to programs licensed by the Commissioner of Human Services.

Section 2 (245.91, subd. 6) amends the definition of the term “serious injury.”

Section 3 (245.94, subd. 1) amends the powers of the ombudsman.  New paragraph (b) allows the ombudsman to access patient records as provided in the federal code and defines records under the federal code.

Paragraph (e) allows the ombudsman to gather information and data for one or more clients who may not be capable of requesting assistance.  Current law allows the ombudsman to access data for a client who is not capable of requesting the information.

In paragraph (f) language is stricken requiring the ombudsman to obtain the client’s consent before accessing private records, and allowing the ombudsman to access private data if the client has developmental disabilities. New language is added allowing the ombudsman to take photographic or videographic evidence while reviewing the actions of an agency, facility, or program.

Paragraph (i) allows the ombudsman to attend Department of Human Services (DHS) Review Board and Special Review Board proceedings at the request of the client, instead of subject to the consent of the client.

Paragraphs (i) and (j) delete the term “with developmental disabilities,” which describe the clients for which the ombudsman may access and gather data.

New paragraph (l) requires the ombudsman to provide services of the Civil Commitment Training and Resource Center.

Section 4 (245.97, subd. 6) changes the terms, compensation, and removal of the ombudsman committee, which is under the jurisdiction of the state government committee.

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