A bipartisan group of 13 senators yesterday urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to initiate a rulemaking process to modernize 42 CFR Part 2 to allow safer, more effective and better-coordinated treatment for patients with substance use disorders. “A lack of access to the full scope of medical information for each patient can result in the inability of providers and organizations to deliver safe, high-quality treatment and care coordination,” wrote Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Jeffrey Merkley, D-Ore.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. “The barriers presented by Part 2 can result in the failure to integrate services and can lead to potentially dangerous medical situations for patients.” The House last year passed bipartisan legislation (H.R. 6082) to align Part 2 with HIPAA for treatment, payment and health care operations, among other improvements, the letter notes. AHA supported the bill. It also supported a Senate companion introduced by Senators Manchin and Capito in the last Congress, which did not advance to a vote.

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