February 10, 2016 – The Legal Action Center welcomes the efforts of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) of the Department of Health and Human Services to modernize federal confidentiality rules while maintaining needed privacy protections, including its release on February 9, 2016 of a proposed rule on the law protecting the confidentiality of substance use disorder records, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, codified as 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”).
While we are still studying the proposed rule, the Legal Action Center applauds SAMHSA’s efforts to modernize the confidentiality regulations to facilitate communication between providers, better integrate health care, and improve health outcomes – while protecting the core confidentiality protections of the treatment records of people with substance use disorders, so that individuals can seek and receive that care without fear of suffering discrimination, criminal prosecution or other harm. We look forward to completing our analysis of the proposed rule and offering our comments.
The proposed rule can be found here.