What You Need to Know: Major Changes to 42 CFR Part 2

February 28, 2024

For practices offering treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD), some major compliance changes have been rolled out. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or the much easier-to-remember SAMHSA, and the Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, have announced changes to 42 CFR Part 2. 42 CFR Part 2 is a document that rules how substance use disorder patient records need to be handled

Some major changes include: 

One OK: A single consent is valid for all future uses, forgoing repeated permissions and simplifying the process for your practice. 

Sharing with Care: Information about a patient can be shared with public health authorities without specific consent. However, the documents need to be revised to make the patient anonymous

Enforcement Streamlined: Previously, 42 CFR Part 2 had separate penalties. Now, it adopts the same civil and criminal enforcement as HIPAA violations, ensuring consistency and clear expectations.

Breach Notification and Patient Notice: Will follow the same Breach Notification Rule and Patient Notice of Privacy Practices as standard HIPAA requirements. 

Safe Harbor: The Safe Harbor rule in the 42 CFR Part 2 creates a limit on the liabilities investigative agencies that follow proper procedures can face. So, simply put, if an investigative agency has accessed protected health information about someone in substance abuse treatment by following the proper procedures, they will be protected. 

What this means for your Practice

If you work for a practice that offers treatment for substance use disorder, knowing the changes to this legislation is imperative. 

With Abyde, we’re here for you to simplify compliance, with our revolutionary software keeping you up to date and accountable. Review your organization’s risks and vulnerabilities with our variety of resources, including our state-of-the-art Security Risk Analysis (SRA) which can be completed in minutes. 

To learn more about how your practice can be compliant, email us at info@abyde.com and schedule a consultation today