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Policy Guidance

Texas HIE Interoperability Guidance

The Texas HIE Strategic and Operational Plan stipulates the Texas Health Services Authority (the Authority) will develop technology standards, including reference guides and policies, to support vendor neutrality and ensure statewide and federal program interoperability. The Authority, with input from stakeholders, has developed this guidance to serve as HIE interoperability guidance for organizations supporting HIE in Texas. The Authority also participates in multiple state and federal interoperability initiatives, as described in the Authority's Interoperability Policy Statement below.

Texas HIE Privacy & Security Guidance

State law and the Texas HIE Strategic and Operational Plan provide that the Authority will develop privacy and security policies and procedures and promote practices that enable the secure electronic exchange of health information in a manner that protects patient privacy. The Authority, with input from stakeholders, developed the following policies and procedures which have been updated in response to HIPAA/HITECH final omnibus rule, as well as Texas Senate Bills 1609 and 1610, to serve as HIE privacy and security guidance for organizations supporting HIE in Texas.

State-Level Trust Agreement

The Texas State-Level Trust Agreement was developed by the Authority through a collaborative stakeholder process to serve as a contractual agreement between the Authority, the state's grant-funded local HIEs, applicable state agencies, and others who want to participate in the state-level shared services and the trust environment established under the agreement to electronically exchange protected health information with one another and, eventually, through the eHealth Exchange.

While specifications and operating procedures related to the document remain to be defined and additional changes may be necessary to enable the Authority to join the eHealth Exchange, the agreement contains applicable agreements between participating parties relating to their responsibilities and obligations to one another. The Agreement was recently updated to include the final version of the HIETexas Operating Policies and Procedures in Attachment No. 2.

Model Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

The Texas Model BAA is provided as an aid for use between Texas physicians and hospitals ("Covered Entities") and the state's grant-funded health information exchanges, or HIEs ("Business Associates"), to satisfy federal HIPAA requirements related to electronic exchange of protected health information. The Model BAA was developed through a collaborative stakeholder process based on a BAA currently in use by one of the state's grant funded HIEs that was negotiated between that HIE and its Covered Entity participants. The BAA was recently updated to ensure compliance with the HIPAA/HITECH Omnibus Final Rule.

Notice: This BAA is intended only to aid covered entities and their local HIE business associates; its use is not required and it is not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice. HIEs that opt to use this document should consult an attorney to ensure that they use this document in a way that makes it an enforceable BAA that meets applicable state, HIPAA, and HITECH requirements.


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