HIMSS issued its support for the increased patient confidentiality outlined in a new rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) proposed the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records, which aims to increase care coordination and confidentiality for patients with substance use disorders. HIMSS in its Jan. 31, 2023, letter endorsed the efforts of OCR and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for beginning to harmonize Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and 42 C.F.R. Part 2. The move will enhance patient care coordination and patients can consent to providers to release SUD treatment information.
The key points of the HIMSS response:
HIMSS is pleased to see more alignment of privacy compliance requirements for health information care coordination. HIMSS also commends the movement toward addressing behavioral health issues that will ensure the health and wellness of all communities. HIMSS looks forward to continued dialogue with the Department of Health and Human Services on these topics.
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.