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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Comments on Revisions to Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Records 

    Gayle Lee, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    On  Jan. 27, the AAMC submitted a letter  to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to a proposed rule that would better align rules on confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records with HIPAA rules [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 2, 2022] 

    The letter expressed support for many of the proposals in the rule, which maintain privacy while facilitating the exchange of information and provision of high-quality care for individuals in treatment for substance use disorder. Notably, the AAMC supported replacing the current multiple consent requirements with a single general consent that would allow covered entities, business associates, and Part 2 programs to use and disclose the Part 2 record for any purpose permitted under the HIPAA privacy rule. 

    The AAMC also recommended in the future that the statute be amended to align consent requirements with HIPAA, which allows treatment payment and operations disclosures without consent. The letter stated that the requirement to provide an accounting of disclosures is costly and administratively burdensome and, as a result, practitioners may be uncomfortable attempting to use the general consent. Lastly, the letter urged the HHS to offer technical assistance to providers, payers, consumers, and other involved parties to assist with implementation of the provisions in the rule.