The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released two new fact sheets on 42 CFR Part 2: Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records (Part 2) to assist with the application of the Part 2 provisions across different environments, including through electronic health information exchange (HIE) mechanisms and in provider office settings.
“SAMHSA works to connect people who have treatment needs to appropriate resources, and the opioid crisis has only increased the urgency with which we view this topic,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “We want to familiarize stakeholders with scenarios pertaining to Part 2 to help eradicate any barrier someone might encounter to either choosing or providing appropriate treatment.”
“The information included in the new resources we are posting on HealthIT.gov should help providers and health information exchange organizations understand how to appropriately access and securely share health information with the patient’s consent,” said Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology.
The first, “Disclosure of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records: Does Part 2 Apply to Me?” helps clarify what a Part 2 Program is, and how health care providers can determine how Part 2 applies to them by depicting scenarios they might encounter when caring for patients. The second fact sheet, “Disclosure of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records: How Do I Exchange Part 2 Data?” describes how Part 2 applies to the electronic exchange of health care records with a Part 2 Program. These fact sheets can be viewed at https://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/who-we-are/laws-regulations/confidentiality-regulations-faqs.
ONC and SAMHSA invite stakeholders to use these materials to help improve their understanding of 42 CFR Part 2 and its applicability. The information in the fact sheets are not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The fact sheets are not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional technical guidance to supplement the information contained therein.