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November 5, 1999

Ms. Sara Hartin
City Attorney
City of Copperas Cove
Post Office Drawer 1449
Copperas Cove, Texas 76522

OR99-3135

Dear Ms. Hardin:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 130333.

The City of Copperas Cove received a request for reports generated on a named individual "due to EMS services" on specified dates. You contend that the information responsive to the request is protected in whole or in part by section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 773.091 of the Health and Safety Code.

Section 552.101 requires withholding, inter alia, information made confidential by statute.

Section 773.091 of the Health and Safety Code (the Emergency Medical Services Act) 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 this 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.

See generally Open Records Decision No. 598 (1991). In our opinion, most of the records you submitted as responsive to the request are subject to section 773.091. It should be noted, however, that the provisions do not protect information regarding the presence, nature of injury or illness, age, sex, occupation, and city of residence of a patient. Health and Safety Code 773.091(g). Also, in our opinion, the time sheets you submitted as Exhibits F, K, L and M must be released in their entirety, since the only information thereon which is subject to section 773.091 is a notation of the nature of the illness or injury, and this latter information is specifically made public under subsection (g). Therefore, except as noted below, you must release the timesheets and other information regarding the presence, nature of injury or illness, age, sex, occupation, and city of residence of the patient. The remaining information must be withheld under section 773.091.

We note that one of the timesheets you submitted indicates the source of a 9-1-1 telephone call. Sections 772.118, 772.218, and 772.318 of the Health and Safety Code make caller telephone numbers and addresses furnished by computerized 9-1-1 service suppliers or business service users confidential. See Open Records Decision No. 649 (1996). To the extent that the 9-1-1 call information here was furnished by a service supplier or business service user under Health and Safety Code chapter 772, subchapters B, C, or D, the originating telephone number is confidential and must also be withheld.

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 questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

William Walker
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

WMW/jc

Ref: ID# 130333

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Frank A. DiMuccio, Jr.
2314 East Highway 190
Copperas Cove, Texas 76522
(w/o enclosures)


 

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