Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923


March 24, 2011
Contact: Janet Elliott (512) 463-0112

Senate Passes Medical Privacy Bill

AUSTIN — The Senate today passed SB 622, legislation authored by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to strengthen the protection of Texans' personal health information.

"Medical records include highly sensitive information, and the misuse of this information can put patients at risk for severe financial and personal consequences," said Senator Nelson. "This bill protects patients from having their information improperly sold to unauthorized third parties and ensures that patients have the right to access their own electronic medical records."

Senate Bill 622 updates Texas' medical privacy laws to reflect advances in health information technology. It expands upon federal privacy protections, prohibits the sale of personal health information, increases protections of health information at our state agencies, and strengthens penalties for crimes involving personal health information.

Key provisions of SB 622 would:

In 2001, Senator Nelson authored the Texas Medical Privacy Act, which prevented the transfer of patient data from health care providers to marketing or advertising entities without patient consent and gave patients the right to inspect their records for accuracy.

Senator Nelson represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.