|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
June 24, 1999
Ms. Sara Hartin
Dear Ms. Hartin:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 126993.
The City of Copperas Cove (the "city") received a request for information pertaining to an emergency services call that occurred on May 25, 1999 concerning a certain individual. You assert that the requested information is excepted from public disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. You have submitted the documents at issue to this office for review.
Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Section 773.091 of the Health and Safety Code provides in part:
(a) A communication between certified emergency medical services personnel or a physician providing medical supervision and a patient that is made in the course of providing emergency medical services to the patient is confidential and privileged and may not be disclosed except as provided by the chapter.
(b) Records of the identity, evaluation, or treatment of a patient by emergency medical services personnel or by a physician providing medical supervision that are created by the emergency medical services personnel or physician or maintained by an emergency medical services provider are confidential and privileged and may not be disclosed except as provided by this chapter.
* * * *
(g) The privilege of confidentiality under this section does not extend to information regarding the presence, nature of injury or illness, age, sex, occupation, and city of residence of a patient who is receiving emergency medical services.
The submitted records are records of the identities and evaluations of patients by emergency medical services personnel of the city that are created and maintained by the city. Thus, except for the information specified in subsection (g), the records at issue are deemed confidential by section 773.091 and, therefore, may be released only in accordance with chapter 773 of the Health and Safety Code. See Health and Safety Code §§ 773.091-.094. We note that records that are confidential under section 773.091 may be disclosed to "any person who bears a written consent of the patient or other persons authorized to act on the patient's behalf for the release of confidential information." Health & Safety Code §§ 773.092(e)(4), .093.
We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
Ref: ID# 126993
Encl.: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Joe Wooten
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US