(a) Procedures for inspection of public records will be in accordance with the Texas Open
Records Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 6252-17a, and as further described in this section.
(b) Long Term Care — Regulatory, Texas Department of Human Services (DHS), will be
responsible for the maintenance and release of records on licensed facilities, and other related
(c) The application for inspection of public records is subject to the following criteria.
(1) The application must be made to Long Term Care – Regulatory, Texas Department of Human
Services, P.O. Box 149030 (E-349), Austin, Texas 78714-9030.
(2) The requestor must identify himself/herself.
(3) The requestor must give reasonable prior notice of the time for inspection and/or copying of
(4) The requestor must specify the records requested.
(5) On written applications, if the bureau is unable to ascertain the records being requested, the
bureau may return the written application to the requestor for further specificity.
(6) DHS must provide the requested records as soon as possible. However, if the records are in
active use, or in storage, or time is needed for proper deidentification or preparation of the
records for inspection, DHS must so advise the requestor and set an hour and date within a
reasonable time when the records will be available.
(d) Original records may be inspected or copied, but in no instance will original records be
removed from department offices.
(e) Records maintained by the bureau are open to the public, with the following exceptions:
(1) incomplete reports, audits, evaluations, and investigations made of, for, or by the department
are confidential;
(2) reports of abuse and neglect are confidential;
(3) all names and related personal, medical, or other identifying information about a resident are
(4) information about any identifiable person which is defamatory or an invasion of privacy is
(5) information identifying complainants or informants is confidential;
(6) itineraries of surveys and inspections are confidential; and
(7) to implement this subsection, the bureau may not alter or deidentify original records. Instead,
the bureau will make available for public review or release only a properly deidentified copy of
the original record.
(f) Charging for copies of records must be in accordance with the following criteria.
(1) If the requestor simply wants to inspect records, the requestor will specify the records to be
inspected and the bureau will make no charge for this service, except where the bureau chief
determines that a charge is appropriate based on the nature of the request.
(2) If the requestor wants to request copies of a record, the requestor will specify in writing the
records to be copied on an appropriate DHS form, and DHS will complete the form by
specifying the cost of the records which the requestor must pay in advance. Checks and other
instruments of payment will be made payable to the Texas Department of Human Services.
(3) Any expenses for standard-size copies incurred in the reproduction, preparation, or retrieval
of records must be borne by the requestor on a cost basis in accordance with costs established by
the State Purchasing and General Services Commission or the department for office machine
(4) For documents that are mailed, the department will charge for the postage at the time it
charges for the reproduction. All applicable sales taxes will be added to the cost of copying
(5) When a request involves more than one facility, each facility will be considered a separate
(g) The bureau will make a reasonable effort to furnish records promptly and will extend to the
requestor all reasonable comfort and facility for the full exercise of the rights granted by the
Open Records Act.