Calif., Texas increase privacy requirements

April 19, 2012

Health care practitioners in Texas and California should review their privacy protection programs to ensure compliance with new laws in those states, according to the AOA Advocacy Group.

Both of the new state laws establish privacy standards stricter than those outlined in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Both the California (S.B. 24) and Texas (H.B. 300) legislation expand the range of information protected and the types of businesses covered. Both set down new criteria for the notification of patients in the event of a security breach.

In addition, the Texas law also imposes stiffer penalties for negligent or intentional violations. It also sets the stage for additional privacy protections in the future by directing several governmental and quasi-governmental entities to monitor and report on health care privacy in the state.

The Texas law also establishes several new government task forces on privacy.

The new California privacy law took effect Jan. 1, 2012. The Texas law takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The new California privacy law can be accessed online at http://1.usa.gov/A0e9o2.

The new Texas privacy law can be accessed online at http://bit.ly/y4pkCl.

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