Confidentiality and substance use treatment records: What compliance and privacy personnel need to know

Listen to article
11 minute read

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the Administrative Simplification sections of HIPAA and its amendments. In many cases, certain records require more protection than HIPAA and/or state laws provide. Those records include behavioral health records and the subset of behavioral health records related to substance use disorder. Congress passed legislation codified at 42 C.F.R. Part 2 to provide that level of protection. In 2020, Congress revised the regulations regarding the release of records involving behavioral health as well as substance use disorder. Given the increase in the number of addiction medicine programs, both independent programs and those under the auspices of a hospital, this article will discuss the regulations found in Part 2 and the newest regulations regarding substance use disorder and treatment records.

To grant greater protections to substance use disorder and treatment records, Congress created the regulations found in Part 2 in 1975. These regulations addressed concerns about substance use disorder diagnosis and treatment information for nontreatment reasons. Individuals receiving treatment for substance use disorder no longer had to be concerned that that information could be released and used against them in criminal or domestic proceedings, including divorces, child custody hearings, or employment matters.

This document is only available to members. Please log in or become a member.

Would you like to read this entire article?

If you already subscribe to this publication, just log in. If not, let us send you an email with a link that will allow you to read the entire article for free. Just complete the following form.

* required field