The federal government wants to weaken confidentiality rules for patients with addictions. This means people who have been in any kind of treatment—even years ago—but will mainly affect methadone patients, because protections for other patients have already been chipped away at.
Patients who have been treated for substance use disorder (SUD) are currently entitled to consent—or not—to the release of their information, under 42 CFR Part 2. And now—in the context of all regulatory authorities wanting to get rid of that consent provision by turning 42 CFR Part 2 into HIPAA, which has no such requirement—SAMHSA is formally proposing a regulatory change. Sometime in May, SAMHSA quietly sent over its proposal to the US Office of Management and Budget, which governs rulemakings to determine if they impact finances. There was no announcement, and I only found out thanks to a tip.
We don’t know precisely what the proposed rule will say; it’s currently in review. But the summary on OMB’s website makes the broad intent clear:
SAMHSA is proposing broad changes to Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2, also known as 42 CFR part 2 to remove barriers to coordinated care and permit additional sharing of information among providers and part 2 programs assisting patients with substance use disorders (SUDs).
Read more at: https://filtermag.org/methadone-information-consent/