The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations in 45CFR parts 160 and 164 as published in the Federal Register on Dec 28, 2000, classifies poison centers as health care providers, authorized to share protected patient information with providers of direct patient care. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) with a grant of authority to conduct surveillance activities and to function as a public health authority. This allows covered entities to disclose protected health information. The Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) is a program performing public health functions for the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the State of Texas. As such we are exempt from HIPAA privacy regulations.