Substance Use Treatment: Final Rule Protects Privacy While Improving Exchange of Medical Information
January 25, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System
On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that updates and modernizes the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, to facilitate information exchange within modern healthcare systems while addressing privacy concerns of individuals seeking treatment for a substance use disorder. According to an accompanying press release from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the final rule "carefully balances the public health benefits of information exchange and continued protection of patient privacy." The final rule updates the Part 2 regulations promulgated in 1975 to protect individuals seeking treatment for substance use from serious social consequences.