The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services updated part 2 of the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, 42 Code, on Jan. 18, 2017, which will allow clinical team professionals to readily share information of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs).
The final rule will be effective from Feb. 17, 2017. SAMHSA noted, “Part 2 and its governing statute are separate and distinct from HIPAA and its implementing regulations. Because of its targeted population, part 2 provides more stringent federal protections than most other health privacy laws, including HIPAA.”
Certain quarters were concerned that the information might be used against those with SUDs and they might not be willing to take the treatment. However, the way the rule was formulated, the patients needed to give their nod each time their details were shared or accessed, which only slowed treatment phases and health care provider reimbursement.
According to SAMHSA, among other provisions, the modification allows:
Not all happy with update
Not all are happy with the new move. Some maintain that the new rule takes a step forward but in other aspects, a few steps backward.
Quoting Pamela Greenberg, CEO and president of the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, an article on the website of Healthcare Informatics, said that “the final rule continues to limit communication among providers as well as the using existing medical information to identify those at risk to certain substances; such as opioid misuse or diversion.”
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