The AHA and more than 40 health care organizations yesterday urged Congress to include legislation that would align 42 CFR Part 2 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as part of legislation to address the opioid crisis. The groups sent letters to leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce urging them to include S. 1850/H.R.3545 in their efforts to address the opioid epidemic. “To provide the safest and highest quality care, clinicians in hospitals and health systems need access to patients’ complete medical information, including information about substance use disorders,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “The importance of safe care for all patients in treatment for opioid use disorder cannot be overstated and 42 CFR Part 2 is a major barrier to safety for patients in treatment for opioid use disorder. Congress should update this law, which impedes the sharing of critical patient information that is necessary to deliver the most effective and efficient care.” The Senate HELP Committee completed markup of its opioid bills today, and the Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee is expected to markup more than 60 bills tomorrow.

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