The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations.
This change will facilitate information exchange within new health care models while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder. These modifications also help clarify the regulations and reduce unnecessary burden.
The laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder records were written out of great concern about the potential use of substance use disorder information against individuals, causing individuals with substance use disorders not to seek needed treatment.
The disclosure of records of individuals with substance use disorders has the potential to lead to a host of negative consequences, including: loss of employment, loss of housing, loss of child custody, discrimination by medical professionals and insurers, arrest, prosecution, and incarceration.
The purpose of the regulations at...