HHS has published proposed revisions to the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations—42 CFR Part 2. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, titled "Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records," was published in the Federal Register today, February 9, 2016. This proposal was prompted by the need to update and modernize the regulations.
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. The regulatory changes will ensure that patients with substance use disorders have the choice to participate in and benefit from new integrated health care models without fear of the risk of adverse consequences. Due to its targeted population, the Part 2 rules provide more stringent federal protections than most other health privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Deadline for public comment on this proposed rule is 5 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2016.