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January 19, 2023   

Comment Deadline Approaches for Proposed Changes to Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Rule

This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Health Information and Technology Practice Group.
  • January 19, 2023
  • Adam Greene, JD, MPH , Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

On December 2, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (Proposed Rule) to amend the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records rule at 42 C.F.R. part 2 (Part 2 Rule). The changes implement Section 3221 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 and represent the most substantial proposed changes to the Part 2 Rule since its initial publication in 1975. The comment period ends on January 31, 2023. The Proposed Rule includes a number of improvements to the Part 2 Rule, making it easier for patients to consent to the use or disclosure of their substance use disorder (SUD) information for routine purposes such as treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO), and making it easier for programs subject to the Part 2 Rule (Part 2 Programs) and for recipients of SUD information by more closely aligning the Part 2 Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in a number of respects. The Proposed Rule, however, also may increase risks to regulated entities, as compliance with the Part 2 Rule continues to be a challenge due to limitations of health information technology and the stakes of noncompliance will be raised due to new breach notification obligations and a likelihood of increased enforcement.


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