The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee today held a hearing on draft legislation that would align 42 CFR Part 2 regulations on confidentiality of substance use disorder records with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rule. In a statement submitted for the hearing, AHA reiterated its strong support for the legislation to prevent inappropriate and dangerous prescribing of opioids. “Partitioning a patient’s record to keep SUD diagnoses and treatments hidden from the clinicians entrusted to care for them, as required by 42 CFR Part 2, is dangerous for the patient, problematic for providers and contributes to the stigmatization of mental and behavioral health conditions,” AHA said. Testifying at the hearing, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who authored the draft legislation with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), said, “Simply put, an antiquated law prevents lifesaving medical care for patients in recovery for substance use disorders.” Witnesses Justin McKee, policy director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio; Gerald DeLoss, a health law attorney; and Jeremiah Gardner, manager of public affairs and advocacy for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; also voiced support for the legislation. “It’s time to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA and move us toward the goal of true health care integration,” said McKee, whose brother died of an opiate overdose. Earlier today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing examining the role of wholesale drug distribution and diversion in the opioid epidemic. 

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