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.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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