What are the HB-300 Training Requirements?

by | Jul 28, 2023

The HB-300 training requirements encompass comprehensive education and awareness programs designed to educate employees within Texas healthcare organizations about the intricacies of patient privacy laws, data security measures, proper handling of protected health information (PHI), and their legal obligations as mandated by the Texas House Bill 300 (HB-300), ensuring compliance with state regulations and fostering a culture of responsible PHI management. Introduced on September 1, 2012, Texas House Bill 300 (HB 300) expands the existing privacy requirements of the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act to any individual or organization that has access to the PHI or Sensitive Personal Information (SPI) of any Texas resident – irrespective of where the individual, organization, or resident is located in the world.

The then Texas Governor Rick Perry signed Texas HB 300 into law and, in doing so, amended four existing Texas laws:

  • Texas Health Code (Chapters 181 and 182)
  • Texas Government Code (Chapter 531)
  • Texas Business and Commerce Code (Sections 521 and 522)
  • Texas Insurance Code (Chapter 602)

These amendments ensure Texas has some of the strictest privacy and security regulations covering healthcare information in the United States.

HB 300 Training Requirements

Texas HB 300 and the existing laws it amended oblige all individuals and organizations that possess, obtain, assemble, collect, analyze, evaluate, store, or transmit protected health information (hereafter referred to as covered entities) to train their workforce on the requirements of the legislation.

HB 300 training has different legal requirements to the requirements of HIPAA:

  • Training must be provided no later than 90 days after an individual joins a company/organization.
  • Refresher training should be provided within a year of a material change affecting the role of the employee.
  • Training must be tailored to the duties of an individual, and the way protected health information is handled.
  • Training must be documented as evidence of training must be provided in the event of a compliance investigation.

While there is a legal requirement for anyone working at a HIPAA-covered entity or Business Associate to undergo HIPAA training and security awareness training, this is not the same as Texas HB 300 training. In order to be compliant with HB 300, and to avoid potential penalties, a training course specifically designed for HB 300 compliance must be provided to all employees.

What are the Chief Differences between HIPAA and Texas HB 300?

HIPAA set basic security standards that must be followed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information. HIPAA also introduced new rights for individuals over their healthcare data and stipulated the allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information and the management of healthcare data. Individual US states may pass their own specific legislative acts to improve privacy protections for state residents if they feel that the basic level of protection provided through the federal HIPAA law is insufficient.

This is what the legislature did in Texas when it passed HB 300. This bill widened the definition of covered entities while also adding extra requirements to enhance safeguards and ensure the privacy of state residents’ data.

Here we detail some of the main areas where the Texas legislation improves protections for state residents and their healthcare data. As mentioned above, there are strict time frames for providing training for all employees who manage, process, or interact with the protected health information (PHI) and sensitive personal information (SPI) of Texas residents.

Expanded definition of a Covered Entity (CE)

Texas HB 300 expanded the HIPAA definition of a covered entity (healthcare provider, health insurer, and healthcare clearinghouse) to also include any “BA, health care payer, governmental unit, information or computer management entity, school, health researcher, health care facility, clinic, health care provider, or person who maintains an internet site.” That means that anyone who comes into possession of PHI or SPI is required to comply with Texas HB 300.

Formal Standards for Managing Electronic Health Records

If a patient’s PHI is going to be electronically shared, or if a covered entity is being sent PHI, then the data subject must be made aware of this prior to it happening.  In order for this process to be completed, the subject/patient must provide their legal authorization. The only exceptions to this are if the PHI is being shared for treatment, payment, or insurance reasons.

Quicker Patient Access to Electronic Healthcare Data

Fifteen business days is the limit for providing patients with access to their health records electronically following the receipt of a written request. Under HIPAA, the time limit for this to be completed is 30 days. It is acceptable, legally, for healthcare records to be made available to the patient in any format if the patient agrees to this in advance.

More Accountability for Business Associates (BAs)

All Business Associates, with the exception of those that have zero contact with PHI, should closely adhere to the following rules when working with a covered entity:

  • Immediate notification of a breach once it is discovered.
  • State in all Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) who is responsible for alerting breach-impacted individuals by mail.
  • Record all evidence of yearly security audits and employee training.
  • Implement encryption of PHI on all mobile technology.

Strict Civil & Criminal Sanctions for HB 300 Violations

Sanctions and penalties can be imposed for any violation of the requirements of Texas HB 300. The penalties are divided into tiers based on the extent to which the covered entity was aware the requirements of the legislation were being violated.

The penalty tier is as follows:

  • Violations committed negligently = $5,000 per violation
  • Violations committed knowingly or intentionally = $25,000 per violation
  • Violations committed intentionally and when PHI is misused for financial gain = $250,000 per violation
  • When a violation is part of a pattern of noncompliance – Maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

When determining an appropriate penalty within the above tiers, consideration will be given to the compliance record of the covered entity, the impact of the breach on Texas residents, measures that were taken to address the violation and prevent it from happening again, and the number of individuals affected.

What is Defined as Personally Identifiable Health Information under Texas HB 300?

Under Texas HB 300, personally identifiable health information is considered to be information that relates to an individual which is not already in the public domain if that information could be used to ascertain an individual’s identity, either directly or in combination with different information. The identifiers are the same as those in HIPAA and include names, telephone numbers, email addresses, dates, IP addresses, Social Security numbers, and health insurance numbers.

Exemptions to Texas HB 300

The entities which do not need to follow Texas HB 300 are:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance and any entity or person who is involved with the provision, support, management, or coordination of benefits as listed in a self-insured employees’ compensation plan.
  • Non-profit groups investing in healthcare services or prescription medications for indigent people when the main objective of the group is not administering healthcare or funding healthcare.
  • Any transaction stipulated the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Groups and individuals that provide or are involved with benefits involved with payment for those impacted by crime.
  • Employee benefit plans and entities or individuals whose work is involved in those plans.

HB 300 Training Courses from ComplianceJunction

Many covered entities decide to choose a third-party course for their employees rather than developing their own training courses. ComplianceJunction provides a Texas HB 300 training course with scope for customization to suit your exact needs.

If you are designing your own training course or choosing a third-party solution, it is important to ensure that training provided to the workforce is tailored to the role and responsibilities of each employee.

It is crucial that all courses include at least the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Texas HB 300.
  • Covered entities and individuals required to comply with HB 300.
  • Why the law was introduced and why compliance is mandatory.
  • Types of information covered.
  • Authorizations for sharing of electronic PHI.
  • Medical record and PHI access.
  • Patient rights in relation to their electronic medical records.
  • Notifications about electronic disclosures of PHI.
  • Securing PHI.
  • Notification requirements for privacy violations.
  • HB 300 penalties and sanctions.

It is important all entities required to comply with Texas HB 300 adhere to all of the aforementioned rules and conduct the proper training for their workforce on an ongoing basis.

ComplianceJunction training is modular, you can select the most appropriate content for your organization’s training needs, including HB 300 compliance and security awareness training.

You can view our HB 300 training module by clicking here or complete the form below to find out more about our HIPAA training courses.

Benefits of HB 300 Training

HB 300 Training Benefit Description
Enhanced Awareness HB 300 training plays a pivotal role in cultivating heightened awareness among healthcare professionals and relevant staff about the far-reaching implications of this legislation. Through comprehensive training, individuals gain an in-depth understanding of how HB 300 specifically impacts the handling, storage, and transmission of protected health information (PHI) within the state of Texas. This awareness equips them with the necessary insights to make informed decisions in their roles while ensuring compliance with the law.
Legal Compliance At the heart of HB 300 training lies the crucial aspect of legal compliance. Healthcare organizations and personnel are bound by the law to adhere to the stipulations set forth by HB 300. By participating in this training, individuals become well-versed in the intricacies of the legislation, reducing the risk of unintentional non-compliance that could lead to penalties, legal actions, and reputational damage. This compliance is paramount to safeguarding the privacy and security of patient data and maintaining the organization’s integrity.
Risk Mitigation A key benefit of HB 300 training is the effective mitigation of risks associated with non-compliance. By thoroughly educating employees about the requirements and expectations outlined in the legislation, organizations can proactively identify potential pitfalls and vulnerabilities. Armed with this knowledge, staff can implement preventive measures and best practices to ensure the secure handling of PHI, reducing the likelihood of data breaches, unauthorized disclosures, and other security incidents.
PHI Protection HB 300 places a significant emphasis on protecting the sensitive patient information held by healthcare organizations. Through comprehensive training, employees gain a deep understanding of the various types of PHI, the significance of keeping such information confidential, and the potential consequences of unauthorized access or disclosure. Armed with this knowledge, they are better equipped to implement robust security measures that safeguard patient data from breaches, hacking attempts, and internal mishandling.
Patient Trust The cornerstone of any healthcare organization is the trust it holds with its patients. HB 300 training supports this trust-building endeavor by demonstrating the organization’s commitment to maintaining the privacy and security of patient information. When patients know that their data is handled ethically and responsibly, their confidence in the organization grows, fostering stronger patient-provider relationships and enhancing overall patient satisfaction.
Transparent Processes Transparency is a fundamental principle of healthcare operations, and HB 300 training reinforces this principle by educating employees about the importance of transparent processes in handling patient information. Individuals learn about the necessity of clear communication, accurate record-keeping, and honest disclosures of how PHI is collected, used, and shared. This transparency not only aligns with ethical standards but also ensures that patients are fully informed about how their data is managed.
Data Breach Prevention Data breaches pose a significant threat to patient data security and organizational reputation. HB 300 training equips employees with the knowledge to recognize potential vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches. By understanding common entry points for hackers, social engineering tactics, and emerging cyber threats, staff can take preemptive measures to fortify cybersecurity defenses, implementing encryption, access controls, and regular security audits to reduce the risk of breaches.
Incident Response In today’s digital landscape, no organization is entirely immune to security incidents. However, a well-prepared incident response strategy can minimize the impact of such events. HB 300 training goes beyond prevention, ensuring that employees are prepared to respond swiftly and effectively if a security breach occurs. Participants learn how to contain breaches, notify affected parties, and work toward resolution while adhering to legal requirements and ethical obligations.
Documentation Accuracy HB 300 includes specific guidelines for obtaining consent and authorizations related to the use of patient information. Training ensures that employees understand the importance of accurate documentation in these processes. Proper documentation not only demonstrates compliance but also serves as a record of patient engagement, supporting accountability and transparency.
Consistency Organizations with numerous employees must maintain consistent practices in PHI handling to ensure legal compliance and uniform protection. HB 300 training establishes a baseline understanding across the organization, regardless of department or role. This uniformity minimizes confusion, reduces the risk of accidental non-compliance, and contributes to a cohesive approach to data security.
Cross-Functional Understanding In healthcare settings, PHI protection is a collective effort that extends beyond clinical staff. Non-clinical personnel also have responsibilities related to data privacy. HB 300 training bridges the knowledge gap between clinical and non-clinical employees, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for patient data security. This cross-functional understanding enhances collaboration and ensures that all aspects of PHI handling align with the law.
Vendor Management Healthcare organizations often collaborate with vendors, service providers, and business associates who may have access to patient data. HB 300 training educates staff on the importance of vendor management within the context of data protection. Employees learn to assess the security practices of external partners, establish robust contracts, and monitor vendor compliance to mitigate risks associated with third-party data handling.
IT Security Information technology plays a critical role in securing electronic patient data. HB 300 training delves into the realm of IT security, equipping IT personnel with the knowledge to implement technical safeguards in alignment with the law. This includes encryption, access controls, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other measures to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
Medical Records Management Accurate and secure management of medical records is a cornerstone of PHI protection. Training addresses the proper practices for medical records management, emphasizing the importance of access controls, audit trails, and maintaining records in a manner that respects patient privacy. These practices ensure that only authorized individuals have access to patient information.
Consent Practices Obtaining patient consent is a critical component of HB 300 compliance, especially when using patient data for specific purposes. Training guides staff on the intricacies of consent practices, explaining when and how to obtain explicit consent, and ensuring that patients understand how their information will be used. By adhering to these practices, organizations uphold patient autonomy and legal requirements.
Effective Communication Effective communication is essential in healthcare, and this extends to the transmission of PHI. HB 300 training emphasizes secure communication methods to ensure that patient information is shared only through authorized and encrypted channels. By imparting knowledge about secure communication tools, employees can confidently share sensitive information without compromising data security.
Auditing Practices Regular auditing is vital to maintaining the integrity of PHI handling processes. HB 300 training educates staff on effective auditing practices, teaching them how to monitor access to patient data, detect unauthorized activities, and identify potential security breaches. Auditing plays a proactive role in identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance.
Penalties and Liabilities Understanding the consequences of non-compliance is essential to driving adherence to HB 300. Training informs employees about the potential penalties and legal liabilities associated with breaches of patient data. This knowledge underscores the seriousness of data protection and encourages employees to uphold their responsibilities diligently.
Long-Term Compliance Regulations evolve over time, and maintaining long-term compliance with HB 300 requires an ongoing commitment. Training instills a culture of continuous vigilance by reminding employees that their responsibilities extend beyond a single training session. By nurturing this culture, organizations can adapt to changing requirements and sustain compliance in the face of evolving regulations.
Reputation Enhancement Reputation is a valuable asset for healthcare organizations, and HB 300 training directly contributes to reputation enhancement. By showcasing a commitment to patient privacy and data security, organizations build trust among patients, partners, and the public. This trust translates to a positive reputation as an ethical and responsible entity dedicated to safeguarding sensitive patient information.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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