DELAY OF FINAL RULE ON THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT INFORMATION

Jan. 25, 2017 – The administration of President Donald Trump has issued a memorandum delaying implementation of all new and pending federal regulations. This regulatory “freeze” impacts the recently-released Final Rule modernizing federal regulations that govern the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records, and the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“SNPRM”) seeking comment on additional proposed changes to those regulations. The Final Rule and SNPRM, which were released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) and formally published in the Federal Register on Jan. 18, 2017, update and propose additional changes to the confidentiality regulations found at 42 C.F.R. Part 2, which are often referred to as “Part 2.”

As a result of the regulatory “freeze,” the confidentiality Final Rule will not become effective until Mar. 20, 2017 at the earliest. It was originally scheduled to take effect on Feb. 17, 2017. Accordingly, the Legal Action Center (“LAC”)’s analysis of the Final Rule will not be released to stakeholders until more guidance is available from the Trump administration regarding when and how the Final Rule will take effect.

The SNPRM is also delayed until at least Mar. 20, 2017, but LAC will submit comments on the proposed changes prior to that date. LAC will share these comments with stakeholders when they are complete. We encourage all stakeholders to submit comments on the SNPRM.

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