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AHIP Urges Senate Committee To Advance Legislation On Confidential Sharing Of Substance Use Disorder Information

posted by AHIP

on October 4, 2018

AHIP has addressed a letter to leaders of the Senate HELP Committee, urging them to advance legislation that would allow the confidential sharing of substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis and treatment information to protect patient safety, improve health care quality, and enhance care coordination.

This legislation (S. 1850 / H.R. 6082) seeks to align existing federal regulations (42 CFR Part 2) that set requirements for patient consent and related notice requirements for SUD information with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s existing privacy requirements for uses and disclosures of individuals’ health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations.

H.R. 6082 was approved by the House by a bipartisan vote of 357 to 57 on June 20, 2018. This legislation would require that the medical records of patients with SUDs be treated the same as the medical records of patients with other chronic illnesses. By ensuring that health care professionals and health insurance providers have appropriate access to a patient’s complete medical record (including addiction-related information), this legislation would protect patients’ access to safe, effective, high quality, coordinated care, and treatment that addresses the full scope of their health care needs all while maintaining the patient right to privacy and boosting consumer protections.