The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized changes to Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, (42 CFR Part 2) to facilitate health integration and information exchange within new health care models while continuing to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients seeking treatment for substance use disorders. The new rule is available in the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/18/2017-00719/confidentiality-of-substance-use-disorder-patient-records.
In February 2016, HHS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing changes to Part 2 to reflect the current health care delivery system, promote health integration and permit appropriate research and data exchange activities. This final rule carefully balances the public health benefits of information exchange and continued protection of patient privacy.
In addition to the Final Rule, HHS is also issuing a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) today. The SNPRM is being issued to seek public input on some additional clarifications and suggestions, especially regarding the important role of contractors, subcontractors and legal representatives in the health care system with respect to payment and health care operations.
All persons are invited to comment on the proposed clarifications by using one of the methods outlined in the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Please note that to be assured consideration, comments must be received, no later than 5 p.m. on February 17, 2017. All comments received by that deadline will be considered by SAMHSA.
The press release can be accessed at: https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201701131200
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – January 13, 2017