HHS, SAMHSA Propose Modernization of Substance Use Records Rule
On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released proposed regulatory changes to the confidentiality of patients’ substance abuse disorder records, also known as 42 CFR Part 2. The proposed regulations aim to modernize and better facilitate health information sharing within new health care models while maintaining the privacy of patients being treated for substance use and abuse. The National Council is currently reviewing the 144-page proposed regulation and consulting legal experts to identify the potential implications of these suggested changes.
“This proposal will help patients with substance use disorders fully participate and benefit from a health care delivery system that’s better, smarter and healthier, while protecting their privacy,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in a statement. “We are moving Medicare, and the health care system as a whole, toward new integrated care models that incentivize providers to coordinate and put the patient at the center of their care, and we are modernizing our rules to protect patients.”
The National Council welcomes the conversation regarding these proposed changes. HHS and SAMHSA will be accepting comments on this proposal for the next two months, with a final comment submission deadline of Monday, April 11, 2016. There is no timetable by which HHS and SAMHSA must release final regulations after receiving and reviewing public comments.