A variety of discussions have taken place (and continue to take place) at the national level regarding ways to integrate the protections included in Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations—42 CFR Part 2—with electronic health records and other health information technologies. NASADAD takes these discussions very seriously and is working through a process to provide education to our members and host forums and discussion to allow our members a chance to voice their opinions.
On February 9th, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on 42 CFR Part 2 in the Federal Register. The goal of the proposed changes is to facilitate information exchange within new health care models while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder.
In 2010, NASADAD published a policy statement regarding 42 CFR Part 2 and changes in health information technology. The statement offers support for stakeholders and policymakers to have thoughtful and inclusive discussions about how the confidentiality protections in 42 CFR Part 2 can best be utilized with more advanced health information technologies. Specifically, the document says “Should the deliberative dialogue suggest a clear need to adjust current policies governing privacy and confidentiality, including 42 CFR Part 2, changes should be considered and carefully implemented. During this process, NASADAD believes any changes should:
- Benefit from the deliberations and information generated by the stakeholders listed above,
- Enhance communication of vital health information necessary to improve the quality of care for people with substance use disorders, and
- Maintain the intent of 42 CFR Part 2, which protects personal privacy and confidentiality, and prevents discrimination of people with alcohol and other drug histories.”
Comments to SAMHSA regarding potential changes to 42 CFR Part 2 from:
- The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) here.
- The Legal Action Center (LAC) here. Check out LAC’s comments to SAMHSA and other resources on confidentiality.
- The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) here.
NAMD Statement on More Comprehensive Action on Substance Use Privacy Rules here.