Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 2 (often referred to as 42 CFR Part 2, or simply “Part 2”) regulates the sharing of substance use disorder (SUD) records. Protecting patients’ confidentiality is of the utmost importance but the outdated nature of Part 2 has created barriers for providing the best care possible to individuals with SUD, often leaving clinicians unaware of risks from multiple drug interactions and co-existing medical problems.
In June, the House of Representatives passed HR 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act by a vote of 357 to 57. The OPPS Act enables appropriate sharing of substance use disorder records by aligning Part 2 with HIPAA for purposes of treatment, payment, and operations. The bill also includes criminal, civil, and administrative protections for patients during legal proceedings and applies HIPAA penalties to the Part 2 program to ensure that patients can seek treatment without fear their information will be inappropriately shared.
The US Senate is scheduled to vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 on Monday, September 17. Upon passage, leaders in the House and Senate are expected to quickly reconcile differences between the two chambers’ bills. While the existing legislation represents critical steps in addressing the opioid and drug epidemic that claimed 72,000 lives in 2017, any final package would be further strengthened by the inclusion of provisions aligning Part 2 with HIPAA.
To contact your elected official in Congress, head to AHIMA’s Advocacy Action Center and follow these four steps:
(1) Fill in your personal information and click submit so we can connect you with your lawmakers.
(2) Ask to speak to the Healthcare Legislative Assistant.
(3) Use the following talking points below–
Hello. My name is [NAME]. I’m from [CITY, STATE YOU LIVE IN.] Any final opioid legislation must include the provisions in HR 6082/S 1850 to align Part 2 with HIPAA. Failure to align these regulations will undermine the policy programs included in the broader opioid package by inhibiting the effective coordination of care between healthcare providers.
The consumer protections included in HR 6082 prevent the use of addiction records in criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings or investigations. The bill also incorporates anti-discrimination language and enhanced penalties for any breach of a patient’s substance use record as well as a breach of notification to the patient.
Aligning 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA is critical to reduce stigma by treating addiction like all other illnesses, allow for care coordination, and improve patient safety. Thank you.
(4) Click “I’m Finished Making Calls” when you are done and don’t forget to provide feedback!
Your assistance is critical to including Part 2 reform in the final opioid package!