HB300—No, it’s not a new “South-of-the-Border” tequila you must try, but you really must have HB300 if you are a healthcare provider in Texas…

In 2012, Texas– Governor Rick Perry mandated a law that holds all Texas healthcare providers to stricter understanding, handling and protection of patient PHI (Protected Health Information).

Texas House Bill 300 requires all healthcare providers in Texas to deliver patient requested records in less time  (15 days instead of the Federal Standard of 30 days).  If you do not comply the fines can be exorbitant–Fines: $5000-$250,000 & Class B Misdemeanor–PLUS:  Daily fines that can accumulate  for breaches without reporting to the patient within 30 days.  This also means that if the patient has an outstanding balance with you, and you want to withhold their records until they “pay-up”, you may be now setting yourself up for an expensive visit from a Texas HIPAA Auditor. A Best Business Practice Policy in Texas now would be to:  Release the patient records within 15 days of written request, collect on patient balances later!

Texas HB 300 also requires that much more HIPAA Paperwork be in place within your work dwelling. You will need to have each employee be HB300 Certified within 60 days of hire and then every two years update that certification with training and written proof-of-the-training.  Specific in-house policies need to be written and in place within your HIPAA Manual  as they apply to:  your handling of patient PHI and ePHI (electronic Protected Health Information), your office internet and computer protection policies, and your safeguards for all patient PHI and ePHI.

Don’t get overwhelmed.  Instead, look for a comprehensive training program that will provide you with:  Employee Training, Employee Certification, Required HB 300 Written Policies and if you have not updated your HIPAA Manual, you will want to get one updated to the new Federal HIPAA Omnibus Rule Standards by investing in a complete Federal  HIPAA training solution to this new standard.

So Texas, make sure you have these (3) HIPAA solutions:

  1. HB 300 Employee Training & Certification due in place since Sept 2012
  2. Updated HB 300 Employee Training & Certification update for 2014 due in place by Sept 2014
  3. HIPAA Omnibus Rules & Employee Training due by Sept 23, 2013

Don’t wait until the Texas HIPAA Auditors “come a-knockin on your door” for their bounty.  You don’t want to pay this price, do you?

Written by Jill Obrochta, HIPAA Trainer for Dental Enhancements