Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records:
Proposed Revisions Open for Public Comment
HHS has published proposed revisions to the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations—42 CFR Part 2. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, titled "Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records," was published in the Federal Register today, February 9, 2016. This proposal was prompted by the need to update and modernize the regulations.
The goal of the proposed changes is to facilitate information exchange within new health care models while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder. The regulatory changes will ensure that patients with substance use disorders have the choice to participate in and benefit from new integrated health care models without fear of the risk of adverse consequences. Due to its targeted population, the Part 2 rules provide more stringent federal protections than most other health privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Deadline for Submitting Comments
HHS welcomes public comment on this proposed rule. To be assured consideration, comments must be received at the address provided below, no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2016. HHS will consider all comments received by the date and time specified, and will respond to the comments in the preamble of the final rule.
How To Submit Comments
In commenting, please refer to file code SAMHSA-4162-20. You may submit comments online, by mail, in person, or by courier (to avoid duplication, please submit your comments in only one of the ways listed):
- To submit comments online, visit http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the "Submit a Comment" instructions.
- To submit comments by USPS Regular mail or by hand or courier, deliver to the following address:
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
- To submit comments by USPS Express or Overnight mail, deliver to the following address:
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.
Inspection of Public Comments
All comments received before the close of the comment period will be available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable and/or confidential information that is included in a comment. All comments received will be posted as soon as possible after they have been received on http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on the website to view public comments.
Comments received before the close of the comment period will also be available for public inspection at SAMHSA, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Eastern Time. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, call 240-276-1660.