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RULE §350.233Release of Personally Identifiable Information

(a) Unless authorized to do so under 34 CFR §99.31 or the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (Public Law 112-278), parental consent must be obtained before personally identifiable information is:

  (1) disclosed to anyone other than officials or employees of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) participating agencies collecting or using the information; or

  (2) used for any purpose other than meeting a requirement under this chapter.

(b) A contractor may request that the parent provide a release to share information with others for legitimate purposes. However, when such a release is sought:

  (1) the parent must be informed of their right to refuse to sign the release;

  (2) the release form must list the agencies and providers to whom information may be given and specify the type of information that might be given to each;

  (3) the parent must be given the opportunity to limit the information provided under the release and to limit the agencies, providers, and persons with whom information may be shared. The release form must provide ample space for the parent to express in writing such limitations;

  (4) the release must be revocable at any time;

  (5) the consent to release information form must have a time limit:

    (A) not to exceed seven years after the child exits services or other applicable record retention period, as described in §350.237 of this subchapter (relating to Record Retention Period) for billing records; or

    (B) not to exceed one year for all other consents to release information; and

  (6) if the parent refuses to consent to the release of all or some personally identifiable information, the program will not release the information.

(c) The contractor may disclose personally identifiable information without prior written parental consent if the disclosure meets one or more of the following conditions:

  (1) the disclosure is to another Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) ECI contractor during a transfer of services;

  (2) the disclosure is restricted to limited personal identification, as defined in §350.1203 of this chapter (relating to Definitions), being sent to the Local Education Agency (LEA) for child find purposes, unless the parent opted-out of the notification in accordance with §350.1213 of this chapter (relating to LEA Notification Opt Out);

  (3) the disclosure is to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for the purpose of reporting or cooperating in the investigation of suspected child abuse or neglect;

  (4) the disclosure is in response to a court order or subpoena;

  (5) the disclosure is to a federal or state oversight entity, including:

    (A) United States Department of Health and Human Services, or its designee;

    (B) Comptroller General of the United States, or its designee;

    (C) Office of the State Auditor of Texas, or its designee;

    (D) Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, or its designee;

    (E) Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General's Office, or its designee;

    (F) HHSC, including:

      (i) Office of Inspector General;

      (ii) Managed Care Organization Program personnel from HHSC, or designee;

      (iii) any other state or federal entity identified by HHSC, or any other entity engaged by HHSC; and

      (iv) any independent verification and validation contractor, audit firm, or quality assurance contractor acting on behalf of HHSC;

    (G) state or federal law enforcement agency; or

    (H) State of Texas Legislature general or special investigating committee or its designee; or

  (6) the disclosure meets the requirements of the Uninterrupted Scholars Act, which provides that:

    (A) the disclosure is to a caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization authorized to access the child's case plan;

    (B) the child is in foster care and the child welfare agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student; and

    (C) the disclosure must pertain to addressing the educational needs of the child.

Source Note: The provisions of this §350.233 adopted to be effective September 1, 2011, 36 TexReg 5387; amended to be effective March 7, 2015, 40 TexReg 939; amended to be effective June 30, 2019, 44 TexReg 3280; transferred effective March 1, 2021, as published in the Texas Register February 5, 2021, 46 TexReg 941; amended to be effective March 10, 2022, 47 TexReg 1277

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