Minnesota Plans to Create State Health Database

Opposition to proposed Minnesota health data collection rule. Each pin represents a letter sent to the Minnesota Department of Health. All pins, except green pins, represent a letter opposing the state collection of patient medical record information.

On March 20, 2003, as a result of legislative and public pressure, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) withdrew the health data collection rule. However, the MDH is still authorized by a 10-year old state law to collect patient-identifiable medical record information without patient consent. That law remains in effect. In fact, to develop the data collection system proposed in the rule, the Department collected millions of records of patient encounters between 1996 and 2001.

During the 2003 legislative session, resistance to repealing the data collection law came from the Administration and the Senate, where the bill was never allowed to receive a hearing (There were four hearings in the House). As a result, the House author, Rep. Bill Haas (R-Champlin), withdrew his bill to repeal the law. He plans to work with the Administration during the summer of 2003 to resolve various issues in preparation for the 2004 session.