How does Texas HB 300 expands individual privacy protections beyond HIPAA?

Texas HB 300 expands individual privacy protections beyond HIPAA by imposing stricter regulations on the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information, requiring businesses to implement privacy policies, enhancing patient consent requirements, and imposing fines for non-compliance, thereby establishing safeguards for the privacy of individuals’ health-related data within the state of Texas.

Texas House Bill 300 (HB 300) stands as a legislative initiative that surpasses the boundaries set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), augmenting individual privacy protections within the state. This legislation, signed into law in 2011, represents a step towards strengthening the privacy framework surrounding personal health information (PHI) by imposing strict regulations on entities handling such data. An exploration of the key provisions and differentiating aspects of Texas HB 300 reveals implications and the elevated standards it introduces beyond the federal regulation. Texas HB 300 is designed to enhance the safeguarding of PHI by entities operating within the state, surpassing the baseline set by HIPAA. HIPAA, a federal law signed in 1996, focuses on the privacy and security of PHI held by covered entities such as healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. While HIPAA establishes fundamental principles, Texas HB 300 extends its scope to include non-covered entities that handle PHI, thereby covering more entities under its regulatory scope.

Texas HB 300 imposes strict requirements regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of PHI. The legislation mandates that covered and non-covered entities alike must exercise a high standard of care when handling PHI. This includes, but is not limited to, implementing security measures to protect against unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction of PHI. The legislation stresses the importance of adopting risk management strategies to mitigate potential threats to the confidentiality and integrity of health information. Texas HB 300 places an emphasis on the establishment and enforcement of detailed privacy policies by entities handling PHI. Covered and non-covered entities must develop and implement written policies governing the use and disclosure of PHI. These policies must align with the provisions set in the legislation and must be communicated to all employees who have access to PHI. The making of privacy policies not only serves as a means of operational guidance but also as an element in demonstrating compliance with the high standards mandated by Texas HB 300.

Patient consent, a requirement for privacy in healthcare, receives more attention under Texas HB 300. The legislation points out the need for obtaining explicit and informed consent from individuals before their PHI is used or disclosed for purposes not directly related to treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. This requirement goes beyond the stipulations of HIPAA, reinforcing the belief that individuals should have greater control and awareness regarding the use of their health information. Healthcare professionals and entities covered by Texas HB 300 must adhere to the need for consent, ensuring that individuals are well-informed and empowered in making decisions related to the utilization of their PHI.

Non-compliance with the provisions of Texas HB 300 carries consequences, distinguishing it from the federal framework established by HIPAA. The legislation gives the Texas Attorney General the authority to impose civil penalties for violations, with fines increasing based on the severity and duration of the non-compliance. This punitive approach serves as a potent deterrent, compelling covered and non-covered entities to invest in privacy infrastructures and compliance programs.

The regulations outlined by Texas HB 300 require a complete approach to privacy and data protection. Entities subject to Texas HB 300 compliance must engage in ongoing training and education programs for employees handling PHI, promoting privacy awareness and adherence to the strict standards set by the law. The legislation thus transforms privacy protection from a static compliance requirement into an evolving healthcare operation.


Texas HB 300 is a legislation that extends beyond the parameters established by HIPAA, introducing better privacy protections for individuals within the state. By including non-covered entities, imposing strict security requirements, emphasizing detailed privacy policies, refining the requirement of patient consent, and instituting penalties for non-compliance, Texas HB 300 elevates the standards of privacy and data protection in healthcare. Its assertive approach emphasizes a commitment to safeguarding the sanctity of personal health information. It reinforces the need for entities to understand its provisions to ensure compliance and promote privacy excellence.