SAMHSA revises patient-record regulation

SAMHSA revises patient-record regulation

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently adopted a revised regulation concerning patient records for those with substance use disorder.

The Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation maintains privacy and confidentiality protections while allowing information sharing with a patient’s consent.

Before the rule was revised, federally assisted substance use disorder programs only could disclose patient identifying information with patients’ written consent, a court order, or under limited exceptions.

Revision allows health care providers to share medical information with patients’ consent for program integrity, claims management, patient safety, training, and quality improvement.

“The adoption of this rule means Americans will be better able to receive integrated and coordinated care in the treatment of their substance use disorders,” Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the head of SAMHSA, said. “Modernizing 42 CFR Part 2 will strengthen the nation’s efforts to reduce opioid misuse and abuse and to support patients and their families confronting substance use disorders. The rule will make it easier for primary care clinicians to treat individuals with substance use disorders.”

Revising the rule helps it align with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations.