In a letter to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), America’s Essential Hospitals commented on the proposed changes to 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2), which governs the confidentiality of substance use disorder (SUD) patient records.
The association expressed support for the agency’s efforts to align the regulation more closely with HIPAA regulations, which will improve care coordination among providers and increase protections for SUD patients to mitigate discrimination during treatment.
America’s Essential Hospitals calls on OCR to mitigate technological barriers to streamlined consent documentation, specifically by improving coordination with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to implement new consent requirements in electronic health records (EHRs). The proposed changes to Part 2 aim to decrease administrative burden and increase care coordination but will rely heavily on EHR functionality to implement fully.
The letter also urges OCR to provide technical assistance in implementing these changes and provide more guidance on the interaction of state and federal Part 2 laws.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.