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Fetal, Infant, Child, and Maternal Mortality Review (FICMMR) and Prevention

Prevention
Fetal, Infant and Child Mortality Review (FICMMR)

FICMMR is a statewide effort to reduce preventable fetal, infant and child deaths. The community level review team is composed of health, social service, law enforcement, coroners, and other experts to review de-identified, fetal, infant and child deaths. The purpose of the review team is to determine if a death was preventable. If a death is unanimously decided preventable, the team enacts recommendations, policies and activities to their community. This process was authorized in statute (MCA 50-19-401 through 50-19-406) in 1997. Currently, Montana does not have a State FICMMR team. In previous years, the State FICMMR team assisted the local community teams by making recommendations for needed policy or legislative changes, examining statewide trends and issues, and broadly supporting prevention activities at the state and local level. The members of the State team mirrored those of the local team.

The prevention of fetal, infant, and child deaths is both the policy of the state of Montana and a community responsibility. The death of an infant or child can be viewed as a sentinel event that is a measure of a community's overall social and economic well-being and health. The FICMMR process identifies critical community strengths and needs to understand the unique social, health and economic issues associated with negative health outcomes. The goal of the FICMMR program is to reduce the inequalities that impact the number of deaths through local community and state collaboration.

Confidentiality is Critical!

Confidentiality of all information is strictly maintained and is addressed in statute. A review team member who knowingly uses information obtained in the review process for a purpose not authorized or who discloses information in violation of the FICMMR statute, and upon conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor which is punishable as provided in the law.

The FICMR Act

The Fetal, Infant and Child Mortality Prevention Act was passed during the 1997 Legislative Session through the approval of House Bill 333. The first six provisions of HB 333 have been codified as §§ 50-19-401 to -406, MCA. HB 333 amended existing law to facilitate the Act.

 The provisions of the FICMR Act are as follows:

(1) allow teams to access health care information without the need for a signed consent;
(2) allow teams to access criminal justice information through the county attorney or a person designated by the county attorney;
(3) set out the permissible functions of mortality review teams;
(4) set out minimum requirements on membership and management of mortality review teams;
(5) provide penalties for the unlawful release of confidential information by members of mortality review teams; and
(6) mandate that the Montana Initiative for the Abatement of Mortality in Infants (MIAMI) be coordinated with mortality review teams 

Additional References:

§ 41-3-205, MCA (Teams may receive child protection records.)
§ 44-5-303, MCA (Teams may receive criminal justice information.)
§ 50-16-525, MCA (Teams may receive health care information.)
§ 50-19-323, MCA (Coordination of programs with MIAMI.)

50-15-122 (7), MCA (Disclosure of information from vital records or vital reports – rules.)
50-15-122 (7), MCA (Disclosure of information from vital records or vital reports – rules.)
(7) Federal, state, and local governmental agencies may, subject to this chapter and rules implementing this chapter, upon request, be furnished copies of records or data from the system of vital statistics if the copies or data is used solely in the conduct of the agency's official duties. The department shall, upon request by a licensed adoption agency, provide a birth certificate and related records for purposes of adoption, termination of parental rights, custody actions, paternity actions, child support actions, social security eligibility determinations, or Indian tribal enrollment determinations.

FICMMR Newsletters
Child Death Review System (CDR)

For additional information contact
Lori Rowe
(406) 444-3394
lrowe@mt.gov