“The Legal Action Center (“LAC”) welcomes the efforts of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to modernize federal rules governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records while maintaining needed privacy protections, including its release on February 9, 2016 of a proposed rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”).
After careful analysis of the proposed rule, LAC believes SAMHSA has struck an appropriate balance in its attempts to achieve two important objectives: preserving the confidentiality rights of substance use disorder (“SUD”) patients, while also facilitating the sharing of health information as needed to provide quality care in a new health care delivery environment, including through electronic exchange of health information.
During the rulemaking process, as we do a full analysis of the proposed rule, LAC looks forward to collaborating with the substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery communities. We encourage all stakeholders, including people in treatment and in recovery and their families and caregivers, to take advantage of this important opportunity to work with SAMHSA by reviewing and commenting on the proposed rule. LAC will soon be releasing additional guidance on our website that stakeholders can draw from in drafting their comments to SAMHSA. Comments are due by 5:00 p.m. on April 11, 2016, and can be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov/.”
Source: Legal Action Center – March 7, 2016