The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration today postponed the effective date of its final rule on confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records to March 21. The Office of Management and Budget last month published a memorandum calling for heads of executive departments and agencies to postpone for review for 60 days most regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect. For those regulations that “raise substantial questions of law or policy,” the memorandum calls for agencies to “take further appropriate action in consultation with the OMB director.” AHA had urged SAMHSA to align the final rule, the first major update to the confidentiality rule since 1987, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

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