AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD, Dec. 3 sent a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) urging them to take action on 42 CFR Part 2 before the end of the 115th Congress.
The letter thanks Sens. Alexander and Murray for their leadership in passing legislation to address the opioid crisis, but also urges them to build on their success by aligning 42 CFR Part 2 regulations with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, P.L. 104-191) for the purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.
Current 42 CFR Part 2 regulations require written consent from a patient before clinicians can access information on a patient’s substance use disorder and treatment plan, even if the facility is part of a larger health system. As a result, providers often do not have complete access to a patient’s medical history and are ill-equipped to avoid adverse drug reactions or opioid prescriptions for a patient with opioid use disorder. By aligning 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA, providers will be able to appropriately treat their patients while still safeguarding their data.