In the year that has passed, the Texas legislature has made effort to more efficiently regulate the state health system by adopting the Texas House Bill 300, or Texas HB 300 for short, which took effect in September, 2012. Since then, various training programs have been created, in an attempt to support the new requirements brought on by this legislation. Following you will find all the innovations that came along with the enactment of Texas HB 300.
• It is not entirely a new law. Rather, it can be considered an updated version of previous acts, such as HIPAA ( the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health act), which also focused on protected health information, patient rights, and covered entity responsibilities.
• The difference between Texas HB 300 and HIPAA or HITECH is that the former legislation imposes much stricter regulations and more severe penalties for non compliance. Because of this, Texas HB 300 can be regarded as an updated version of HIPAA and HITECH.
• While HIPAA and HITECH, in general, refer to health care plans and health care providers as being "covered entities", the Texas law has a much broader definition of the term. It regards as covered entities any business associate, individual, or institution that assembles, collects, stores, analyzes, and transmits protected health information (PHI); any entity that comes in possession of PHI; any entity that obtains and stores PHI; and any employee, contractor, or agent for the previously mentioned entities.
• Although HIPAA training remains a requirement, covered entities will also have to train their employees on Texas HB 300. While with HIPAA, retraining is only required when significant changes occur in the legislation, Texas HB 300 training has to be retaken at least once every two years. Additionally, Texas HB 300 training for new employees has to be completed in a shorter time frame than in the case of HIPAA training.
• Texas HB 300 has also increased patient's rights to protected information, especially regarding electronic medical records and has reduced the time frame in which covered entities are required to release information to patients.
• Additionally, the new law has required the Texas Attorney General to set up an official website that details patient's rights to privacy both under Texas law and HIPAA.
and by imposing stricter requirements on covered entities. The points covered above represent some of the most important innovations the Texas law has introduced and that anyone should know about.
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