Privacy Rule Change Could Improve SUD Care Coordination

Stakeholders across the health care industry praised recently finalized revisions to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 42 CFR Part 2 rule. The changes loosen disclosure and privacy requirements about a patient’s history of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Experts say the rule should improve care coordination for people with SUD challenges, though some expressed concerns about limited care resources and patient privacy.

“I think [the final rule] provides more freedom for using information that previously was more confidential under Part 2. It seems to be geared towards practical considerations that had inhibited the use of such data,” health care lawyer Raja Sekaran, a partner at Nossaman LLP, tells AIS Health. Sekaran previously worked as an attorney in HHS’s Office of Inspector General. “What I see in it are a lot of opportunities for broader waivers and consents for information to be shared in different contexts.”

© 2021 MMIT

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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