Confidentiality and Immunity from Liability


According to Health and Safety Code, Section 82.009, reports, records, and information obtained by the Texas Cancer Registry (TCR) are confidential and are not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Texas Government Code (Public Information), are not subject to subpoena, and may not otherwise be released or made public except under certain situations. Those situations include: 1) for statistical purposes in a manner that prevents identification of individuals, health care facilities, clinical laboratories, or health care practitioners; 2) with the consent of each person identified in the information; or 3) to promote cancer research, including release of information to other cancer registries and appropriate state and federal agencies, under rules adopted to ensure confidentiality as required by state and federal laws. Research requests for release of personal cancer data require approval by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Institutional Review Board (IRB) in accordance with requirements in Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 91, Subchapter A, Rule §91.12.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows for the reporting of identifiable cancer data to public health entities. Because the TCR falls under the definition of a public health entity, HIPAA allows your facility or practice to report data to us in compliance with state law. Written informed consent from each cancer patient reported to public health entities is not required under HIPAA; rather health care providers must simply document that reporting has occurred.

The TCR adheres to all state and federal laws, rules, and guidelines regarding protected health information (PHI) and follows strict security policies and procedures to assure patient and institutional confidentiality.

Immunity from Liability

No institution or individual that acts in compliance with the Texas Cancer Incidence Reporting Act, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 82 and Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Chapter 91, Subchapter A shall be civilly or criminally liable for furnishing information to the TCR as required by the law. Institutions and individuals covered by this immunity include health care facilities; clinical laboratories; an administrator, officer or employee of a health care facility or clinical laboratory; and health care practitioners or employees of a health care practitioner.

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