What is Texas HB 300?

Texas HB 300, enacted in June 2011 and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, is an important piece of legislation amending various Texas laws, including the Health Code, Business and Commerce Code, Government Code, and Insurance Code, with a required compliance date of September 1, 2012, that greatly improves health data privacy protections, surpassing the federal HIPAA regulations. The legislation imposes stringent standards on a broad range of entities including healthcare providers, legal entities, educational institutions, and others, mandating compliance with comprehensive regulations, introducing specific provisions for handling electronic health records, emphasizing employee training requirements, and imposing severe penalties, including civil monetary fines and potential license revocation, for noncompliance with its provisions.

The legislation aims to strengthen the privacy and security of health information within the state. With a mandatory compliance date of September 1, 2012, Texas HB 300 created a robust framework for safeguarding health data. The amendment impacts key Texas laws, including the Texas Health Code (Chapters 181 and 182), the Texas Business and Commerce Code (Sections 521 and 522), the Texas Government Code (Chapter 531), and the Texas Insurance Code (Chapter 602). HB 300 sets higher standards for entities operating within the state by addressing and elevating privacy protections for health data,

Who Must Comply:

Compliance with Texas HB 300 is mandatory for a variety of entities operating within the state. While HIPAA primarily designates healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as covered entities, Texas HB 300 expands this definition considerably. Covered entities now include not only healthcare outfits but also involves lawyers, schools, universities, researchers, accountants, Internet service providers, IT service providers, government agencies, and even individuals managing websites that handle protected health information (PHI).

Exemptions Under Texas HB 300:

Despite the expansive scope of Texas HB 300, certain entities are exempt from its compliance requirements. These exemptions include not-for-profit organizations providing healthcare services to indigent persons, workers’ compensation insurance entities, those involved in self-insured workers’ compensation schemes, employee benefit plans, entities supporting compensation for victims of crime, financial institutions handling specific payment transactions, and education records covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. These exemptions are carefully delineated to balance the need for privacy protection with practical considerations in specific sectors.

Electronic Health Records and Texas HB 300:

Texas HB 300 introduces new standards for the handling of electronic health records (EHR) within the state. Under this legislation, covered entities are now explicitly prohibited from using PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or insurance unless they have obtained prior written authorization from the individual. This strict regulation aims to ensure that health information is utilized only for legitimate and authorized purposes. The legislation also mandates an immediate response to PHI requests, requiring covered entities to provide copies within 15 days of a written request. This expedited timeline sets a higher standard compared to the 30-day requirement under HIPAA, emphasizing the urgency placed on safeguarding individuals’ access to their health information.

Employee Training Mandates:

Texas HB 300 places a strong emphasis on comprehensive privacy training, recognizing the key role employees play in handling sensitive health information. All employees who handle PHI or sensitive personal information (SPI), or are likely to encounter PHI, must undergo formal privacy training within 60 days of commencing employment. Unlike HIPAA, which does not specify the frequency of additional training, Texas HB 300 requires organizations to provide supplementary privacy training at least every two years. These training sessions are tailored to the specific roles and responsibilities of employees, ensuring that they are equipped to handle health data in accordance with the legislation. All training sessions are meticulously recorded, and employees are required to confirm receipt of training through their signatures.

Fines for Noncompliance:

Noncompliance with Texas HB 300 carries severe consequences, reflecting the state’s commitment to upholding health data privacy standards. The Texas attorney general has the authority to issue civil monetary penalties to entities and individuals failing to adhere to the legislation. In cases of persistent noncompliance, the state reserves the right to revoke licenses, further emphasizing the seriousness of maintaining compliance. The fines for noncompliance are categorized into three tiers, aligning with the severity of the violation:

TierMaximum PenaltyDescription
1$5,000 per breach, per yearNegligence-related violations
2$25,000 per violation, per yearKnowing or intentional violations
3$250,000 per violation, per yearIntentional violations for financial profit

In instances where there is a pattern of noncompliance, the maximum penalty can reach $1.5 million per year. The level of the financial penalty is determined by various factors, including the severity of the violation, the entity’s historical compliance, the measures taken to address the violation, and whether harm has been caused as a result of the breach. This tiered approach highlights the importance of maintaining a robust system of compliance and accountability for entities dealing with health data in Texas.

Technological Implications:

The enactment of Texas HB 300 has introduced implications for healthcare technologies, data storage practices, and the sharing of sensitive health information. The legislation addresses the evolving nature of technology in the healthcare sector by placing a increased emphasis on safeguarding electronic health records (EHR) and adapting to emerging technologies. Covered entities are required to reassess their technological infrastructure to ensure compliance with the stringent standards set forth by Texas HB 300.

Texas HB 300 outlines specific provisions for the secure handling of electronic health records. Covered entities must adhere to strict regulations governing the use of PHI within electronic systems. This includes prohibitions on the unauthorized use of PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or insurance, unless explicit written authorization has been obtained from the individual. The legislation recognizes the need to keep pace with technological advancements while simultaneously prioritizing patient privacy and data security. However, the integration of emerging technologies presents challenges for covered entities. The legislation requires organizations to manage the complexities of technological innovation while ensuring that privacy and security measures are robust and up-to-date. Potential challenges may include the secure implementation of telehealth services, the adoption of artificial intelligence in healthcare analytics, and the interoperability of health information systems. Adapting to these challenges requires a proactive approach from covered entities to maintain compliance with changing healthcare technology.

Enforcement Mechanisms:

Ensuring compliance with Texas HB 300 involves a robust framework of enforcement mechanisms and procedures designed to uphold the legislation’s standards. The Texas attorney general, as the primary enforcer, oversees the implementation of compliance measures and is empowered to issue civil monetary penalties for violations. The mechanisms in place aim to create a comprehensive and effective system for monitoring and enforcing the legislation.

Detailed procedures guide the enforcement of compliance with Texas HB 300. Covered entities are subject to audits and investigations to assess their adherence to the legislation’s privacy and security requirements. The legislation encourages a cooperative approach, with covered entities expected to actively engage in the enforcement process by providing necessary documentation and facilitating audits. Collaborations with regulatory bodies and agencies are also important in the enforcement of Texas HB 300. Close coordination with relevant entities ensures a unified approach to monitoring and enforcing the legislation. Collaborative efforts extend to information sharing, best practices, and the development of guidelines to address emerging challenges in health data privacy.


Texas HB 300 represents a formidable framework for safeguarding health data privacy within the state. Its broad scope, stringent compliance requirements, targeted employee training mandates, and severe penalties for noncompliance collectively highlights the state’s commitment to protecting individuals’ sensitive health information. Organizations and individuals subject to Texas HB 300 must be vigilant in their efforts to adhere to its provisions, recognizing the importance of upholding the highest standards in the handling and protection of health data. This comprehensive overview serves as a guide for managing the finer details of Texas HB 300, emphasizing the need for diligence, transparency, and a proactive approach to health data privacy.

Daniel Lopez

Daniel Lopez is the HIPAA expert behind HIPAA Coach. Daniel has over 10 years experience as a HIPAA trainer and has developed deep experience in teaching HIPAA to healthcare professionals. Daniel has contributed to numerous publications including expert articles on The HIPAA Guide. Daniel is currently a staff writer on HIPAA at the Healthcare IT Journal. Daniel was a subject matter expert for ComplianceJunction's online HIPAA training. Daniel's academic background in Health Information Management is the foundation of his HIPAA expertise. Daniel's primary professional interest is protecting patient privacy, which he believes is the core of the HIPAA regulations and the best route to HIPAA compliance. You can reach Daniel on the contact page of HIPAA Coach and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/DanielLHIPAA