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New Guidance on Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality

Two new fact sheets released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) clarify the application of substance use disorder (SUD) privacy regulations for health care providers.

The regulations stem from 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2), a longstanding rule dictating how to share patient data related to SUD. Part 2 is intended to protect patient privacy and requires additional consent from patients before disclosing a history of SUD.

The first fact sheet helps clarify for providers whether the rule applies to them and their patients. It provides several examples of when and how Part 2 may apply across health care settings, including hospitals and treatment centers.

The second fact sheet focuses on information exchange under Part 2, providing examples for both directed exchange between providers and query-based exchange, in which providers search data sources for patient information.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.