3400, Client Records Management

Revision 20-0; Effective December 18, 2020

HHSC contractors must have an organized and secure client record system. The contractor must ensure that the record is organized, readily accessible, and available to the client upon request with a signed release of information. The records must be kept confidential and secure, as follows:

  • Safeguarded against loss and used by unauthorized persons;
  • Secured by lock when not in use or inaccessible to unauthorized persons; and
  • Maintained in a secure environment in the facility, as well as during transfer between clinics and in between home and office visits.

The written consent of the client is required for the release of personally identifiable information, except as it may be necessary to provide services to the client or as required by law, with appropriate safeguards for confidentiality. If the client is 17 years of age or younger, the client’s parent, managing conservator or guardian, as authorized by Chapter 32 of the Texas Family Code or by federal law or regulations, must authorize the release. HIV information should be handled according to law.

When information is requested, contractors should release only the specific information requested. Information collected for reporting purposes may be disclosed only in summary, statistically or in a form that does not identify individuals. Upon request, clients transferring to other providers must be provided with a copy or a summary of their record to expedite continuity of care. Electronic records are acceptable as medical records.

Contractors, providers, subrecipients and subcontractors must maintain for the time specified by HHSC all records pertaining to client services, contracts and payments. Contractors must follow contract provisions, maintain medical records for at least seven years after the close of the contract and follow the retention standards of the appropriate licensing entity. All records relating to services must be accessible for examination at any reasonable time to representatives of HHSC and as required by law.