AHA, others urge Congress to reform substance use privacy laws

May 12, 2016

As legislation to address the opioid crisis moved to the floor, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and others on May 10 urged House leaders to align privacy laws governing substance use disorder patient records with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules that allow the use and disclosure of patient information for treatment, payment and health care operations. “Doing so would improve patient care by ensuring that providers and organizations that have a direct treatment relationship with a patient have access to his or her complete medical record,” the organizations wrote. “Without access to a complete record, providers cannot properly treat the whole person and may, unknowingly, endanger a person’s recovery and his or her life. For example, a medical doctor in primary care may not know that he or she is prescribing pain medication to someone with a history of addiction.” Click here to read more from the AHA.


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