Statutory Requirements - Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention

This page provides a brief summary of the requirements related to perinatal hepatitis B infection. This summary is provided as a courtesy, but is in no way intended to supersede or take precedence over the official Texas regulations. Please refer to the full text of the relevant regulations for all matters bearing legal consequence.

Please refer to the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program Manual for additional statutory requirements and details.

Table of Contents

Diagnostic Testing During Pregnancy and Upon Delivery

Testing at First Examination

Providers that are permitted by law to care for a pregnant woman during gestation or at delivery of an infant shall perform hepatitis B serologic testing at the first prenatal visit and upon delivery of an infant. The test results from pregnancy shall be retained for nine months and the report delivered to any successor in the case.

Distribution of Informational Materials at Time of Testing

Before the serologic sample is taken, the health care provider shall distribute to the patient printed materials about hepatitis B and document the distribution of these materials. If a screening test and a confirmatory test show that the woman is or may be infected with hepatitis B, the provider shall provide or make available to the woman disease-specific information on the disease diagnosed, including information relating to treatment, which must be in another language, if needed, and must be presented, as necessary, in a manner and in terms understandable to a person who may be illiterate if resources permit. Referral to an entity that provides treatment for hepatitis B is compliant.

Who is Required to Report

Physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistant, and persons permitted by law to attend a pregnant woman during gestation or at the delivery of an infant (such as midwives) are required to report to DSHS each patient who has or is suspected of having hepatitis B.

Any person who is in charge of a clinic laboratory in which a laboratory examination of any human specimen yields serologic evidence of a notifiable condition shall report as required. Failure to report a notifiable condition is a Class B misdemeanor under the Texas Health and Safety Code §81.049.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows reporting without authorization for public health purposes and where required by law.

When a Report Must be Submitted

Hepatitis B (acute and chronic) identified prenatally or at delivery shall be reported no later than one week after a case or a suspected case is identified.

Perinatal Hepatitis B infections in infants 24 months of age and younger shall be reported within one working day of identification as a confirmed or suspected case.

Where to Report/Submit

All persons required by law to report shall report to the local health department (LHD) where the office, clinic, or hospital is located. If there is no LHD appointed for their jurisdiction, the report shall be sent to the DSHS Health Service Region (HSR).

General Control Measures for Notifiable Conditions

Control techniques including immunization, chemoprophylaxis, and other accepted measures shall be instituted as necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Confidentiality of Reports

All individual case reports received by the health authority or DSHS are confidential records.

To implement disease control measures authorized by the Texas Administrative Code, it may be necessary for the health authority or DSHS to investigate public or private health records including patient medical records pertinent to the notifiable condition for the purpose of implementing disease control measures. This information shall be kept confidential.

Uses and Disclosures for Public Health Activities

A covered entity may disclose protected health information to a public health authority authorized by law for activities to prevent or control disease such as surveillance, investigations, and interventions.