HHS announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) for substance use disorder (“SUD”) data this week. Section 3221 of the CARES Act of 2020 required HHS to align aspects of 42 CFR Part 2, the law governing the confidentiality of SUD treatment records, with HIPAA and HITECH. The NPRM, scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on December 2, proposes to allow records subject to Part 2 to be disclosed for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes in a manner similar to HIPAA, and applies the civil and criminal penalties under HIPAA to Part 2 violations, among many other changes. As HHS explains, the rule update will enhance treatment coordination among providers and protections for patients, and also includes single patient consent for all disclosures, civil fines for violation of patient confidentiality, and updated breach notification requirements.
- Public comments on the NPRM are due 60 days after publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register.