July 14, 2020
HHS Issues ASA-Supported Final Rule to Improve Access to Substance Abuse Patient Records
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule
to finalize steps to modernize 42 CFR Part 2, federal regulations governing the confidentiality of patient records created by federally assisted substance use disorder treatment programs.
The final rule allows patients to share records with providers more broadly and supports coordinated care among providers who treat substance use disorder (SUD), while upholding privacy protections for patients seeking treatment for SUD. ASA has previously endorsed
legislation to address these reforms including H.R. 2062, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act and its Senate companion, S.1012, the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (Legacy Act).
SAMHSA will issue a proposed rule within the next 12 months to comply with provisions in the CARES Act that aim to realign the part 2 rules more strongly with the HIPAA privacy rule.
ASA applauds the Administration for taking steps to modernize the 42 CFR Part 2 and appreciates efforts to address care coordination for SUD patients and ensure patient safety and high-quality care.