Comments on the SAMSHA Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records Proposed Rule

The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF or Task Force) commented on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) proposed rule on the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records (Proposed Rule), which proposes changes to 42 CFR Part 2. Integration of behavioral health services and comprehensive care coordination is critical to delivering high-quality, patient-centered care for patients with substance use disorders.

We appreciate that SAMHSA recognizes the significant confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the applicability of Part 2 rules. The Task Force does not take a position on the proposed modifications to Part 2; our diverse membership was not able to reach consensus on this issue. However, Task Force members are concerned that the proposal misses an opportunity to address significant areas of ambiguity regarding the applicability of Part 2. In the letter, the Task Force identifies two opportunities for SAMHSA to further mitigate confusion and encourage better care coordination and high-quality care for SUD patients.

Task Force Response Summary

  1. Identifying a Part 2 Provider. The Task Force strongly recommends that SAMSHA engage with impacted stakeholders and issue a report on potential mechanisms to reduce ambiguity in Part 2 program identification.
  2. Audit and Evaluation. HHS should clarify how CMS will implement this authority in coordination with SAMSHA, and how those providers that meet the stated criteria may access the claims data for the purpose of audits and evaluation.
  3. Education and Technical Assistance. The Task Force supports this requirement and encourages the Department to comply with producing and disseminating training materials in a timely manner.


Read the letter here


Letter Submitted on October 25th, 2019