What You Need to Know:
SAMHSA is proposing to significantly weaken patient privacy protections in the federal confidentiality regulations for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records, 42 CFR Part 2. The changes are being proposed in a complicated process – SAMHSA has released two different proposed rules covering different sets of issues, with two different and tight deadlines for public comment.
Despite these challenges, it is extremely important that the Trump Administration hears from all stakeholders about how damaging these changes would be for people in recovery and those in, or seeking, SUD treatment.
What You Need to Do:
- Use our first set of template comments to tell SAMHSA to protect SUD treatment patients from law enforcement by Wednesday, September 25th at 5pm when the public comment period on the first set of proposed changes closes. This first set of proposed changes to Part 2 would significantly harm patients by allowing more law enforcement access to confidential patient records. We are extremely concerned that, if implemented, this would serve as another reason for people to be too scared to seek SUD treatment. We encourage all stakeholders to make your voices heard by submitting your own comments and telling SAMHSA to protect people in treatment and recovery from additional law enforcement access to private health information. You can view the comments LAC submitted here.
- Look out for our template comments on the second proposed rule. SAMHSA is proposing a second set of changes to Part 2 that would also significantly weaken SUD patient confidentiality. In the coming weeks, LAC will share template comments on this proposed rule to help you submit your own comments. (Now available here!)
- Spread the word. SAMHSA can’t make these changes without hearing from the public. We need as many comments as possible to emphasize the dire need to protect SUD patient confidentiality. Share this page with your networks and encourage allies to weigh in and share their concerns!
Thank you for all of your work to safeguard patient privacy rights. If you have any questions, please contact LAC Senior Health Policy Attorney Deborah Reid at [email protected].