The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed new rules regarding patient privacy.
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The rules are regarding patient record disclosures, specifically surrounding records pertaining to substance use disorders.
The purpose of HHS’s proposed rules are to allow substance use disorder patients to participate fully in integrated healthcare models without concern of inappropriate disclosure.
The current rules were created in 1975 and last updated in 1987, long before integrated healthcare became an industry-wide norm.
The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records rule revisions seek to update the rules and allow patients to seek treatment for substance abuse and maintain their privacy.
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The proposed rules reflect the change in the industry to focus on quality improvement and performance measurements.
HHS believes the rules will allow patients with substance abuse disorders to benefit from a better healthcare delivery system. The current rules are more strict than the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The rules are intended to optimize patient care and protect the privacy of all participating patients.
The public comment session on the proposed rules is open until 5 p.m. on April 11, 2016.
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