On July 15, 2020, a final rule revising the federal regulations governing the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records, 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2), was released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule will go into effect on August 14, 2020. A SAMHSA fact sheet outlining the changes is here and the final rule here.
Between the time the Part 2 proposed rule was released and the final rule was promulgated, Congress included legislation to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA for the purpose of treatment, payment and operations in section 3221 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The legislation was originally introduced in the Senate by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, and in the House by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) in the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act.
The CARES Act became law on March 27, 2020. SAMHSA will need to release new regulations to implement the law, which are required no earlier than March 27, 2021. The SAMHSA regulations going into effect on August 14, 2020 do not include provisions from the CARES Act.