USA: HHS revises patient substance abuse privacy rule
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ('HHS') announced, on 13 July 2020, that it had revised the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation contained in Part 2, Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations ('42 CFR Part 2'), which protects patient records created by federally-funded programmes for the treatment of substance use disorder. In particular, there have been calls to amend 42 CFR Part 2 for years with critics noting its burdensome requirements for providers. As a result of the amendments, healthcare providers that have obtained patients' consent will be able to more easily conduct activities such as quality improvement, claims management, and patient safety. In addition, the HHS released a factsheet which summarised the revisions and provides reasons for each change.