The Issue

Protecting patient confidentiality is critically important.  Electronic health information systems should be designed so that they include records of an individual’s treatment for alcohol and drug disorders.  People want to be sure that access to their private health information is limited even as they take advantage of the better and more efficient care that electronic records promise.

Current Initiatives

  • Working to ensure that there are meaningful privacy protections for individuals with substance use histories.
  • Working with the Conrad Hilton Foundation to examine the implications of federal confidentiality laws for providers of youth substance use screening and brief intervention services.

Policy Recommendations

  • Electronic records with substance use and mental health information: Electronic health information systems should be designed so that they include, and are constructed to allow health care providers appropriate access to, records of an individual’s treatment for alcohol and drug disorders.
  • Electronic records that comply with confidentiality laws: Electronic record-keeping systems must be constructed and operate consistently with the requirements of the federal law and regulations (42 U.S.C. §290dd-2 and 42 C.F.R. Part 2).  These rules require that an individual’s voluntary, informed and written consent must generally be obtained before protected information may be disclosed to others, including a patient’s other health care providers, who may have access to information in the system.
  • Improved training on confidentiality: Protecting patient confidentiality is critically important.  All health plans, providers, navigators, administrators and others who may have access to protected information should be trained on how that information may be shared in accordance with federal and state privacy laws.

Learn More

To learn more about this issue, visit our Confidentiality Resources.

To learn more about LAC’s impact, see our Accomplishments.

 

 

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