46-460. Adult protective services information; confidentiality; allowed disclosures; violation; classification

A. Unless otherwise provided by law, all personally identifying information concerning any person who is involved in an adult protective services program, including the reporting source's identity, other than a perpetrator against whom an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation has been substantiated pursuant to section 46-458, and all information that is gathered or created by adult protective services and that is contained in adult protective services records is confidential and may not be released except as provided in subsections B, C and D of this section.

B. Employees of the department of economic security, the department of law and the court may obtain the information described in subsection A of this section in the performance of their duties as authorized by rules adopted by the director of the department to economic security.

C. Employees of the department of economic security may release any information that is otherwise held confidential under this section, including the identity of the person who makes a report of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation, to the following or under any of the following circumstances:

1. Pursuant to a superior court order.

2. To law enforcement to be used only for purposes of conducting investigations.

3. To agencies that are responsible for investigating a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation when the investigation is authorized by statute or by an agreement with the department.

4. In any judicial or administrative proceeding involving an adult protective services client if the director considers the information pertinent to the proceeding.

5. To agencies of the federal government, any state, any political subdivision of any state for official purposes or any tribal government. All information received by a governmental agency pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained as confidential, except where pertinent to a criminal prosecution.

D. Employees of the department of economic security may release any information that is otherwise held confidential under this section, except the reporting source's identity, to the following or under any of the following circumstances:

1. The client when a request is made in writing specifically requesting information that directly relates to the person requesting the information.

2. When necessary for purposes that are directly connected with the administration of adult protective services, including:

(a) To protect against a clear and substantial risk of imminent serious injury to a client or to others.

(b) In oral and written communications with the minimal necessary release of information needed to conduct an investigation of allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

(c) In oral and written communications to arrange specific services for a vulnerable adult. 

(d) To a person that has the legal responsibility or authorization to care for, evaluate, treat or supervise a vulnerable adult.

(e) To the extent necessary to make claims on behalf of a client for public or private assistance, insurance or health or medical assistance pursuant to title 11, chapter 2, article 7 or title 36, chapter 29 to which the client may be entitled.

3. Pursuant to the consent of the client who is receiving adult protective services.

4. Persons identified by the client pursuant to one of the following:

(a) If the client is present or otherwise available and has the capacity to make decisions, an adult protective services worker may disclose the information if one of the following applies:

(i) The client agrees orally or in writing by signing a consent form that authorizes disclosure.

(ii) The client is given an opportunity to object and does not express an objection.

(b) If the client is not present or the opportunity to agree or object to the disclosure of information cannot practicably be provided because of the client's incapacity or an emergency circumstance, the adult protective services worker may disclose the information if the disclosure of the information is in the best interests of the client. 

5. Any statutorily created team that is mandated to review adult protective services and the clients served in the completion of the official duties.

6. To disclose statistics or other summary information if personally identifiable information is not revealed by the disclosure.

7. To confirm, clarify, correct or supplement information concerning an allegation or actual instance of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect or exploitation that has been made public by a source or sources outside the department.

8. Any person who is engaged in bona fide research, if no personally identifying information is made available, unless it is essential to the research and the director or the director's designee gives prior approval. If the researcher wants to contact a subject of a record, the subject's consent must be obtained by the department before the contact.

E. The department may adopt rules to implement the purposes of the department and the duties and powers of the director under this chapter.

F. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.