(a) The Secretary may require information that does not identify clients from State and area facilities for purposes of preparing statistical reports of activities and services and for planning and study. The Secretary may also receive confidential information from State and area facilities when specifically required by other State or federal law.
(b) The Secretary may have access to confidential information from private or public agencies or agents for purposes of research and evaluation in the areas of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. No confidential information shall be further disclosed.
(c) A facility may disclose confidential information to persons responsible for conducting general research or clinical, financial, or administrative audits if there is a justifiable documented need for this information. A person receiving the information may not directly or indirectly identify any client in any report of the research or audit or otherwise disclose client identity in any way. (1965, c. 800, s. 4; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 625, s. 9.)