HHS to re­view com­ments on more flex­i­ble pri­vacy rules

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Beth Kutscher

HHS’ Sub­stance Abuse and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion is about to be­gin re­view­ing com­ments on its pro­posed changes that would make it eas­ier to share in­for­ma­tion about pa­tients in fed­er­ally funded al­co­hol or drug abuse treat­ment pro­grams.

Com­ments are due April 11.

The reg­u­la­tions, last up­dated al­most three decades ago, were de­signed to pro­tect the in­for­ma­tion of peo­ple re­ceiv­ing drug and al­co­hol abuse treat­ment, and so re­duce one of the bar­ri­ers to seek­ing care. But health in­for­ma­tion ex­changes, ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions and clin­i­cally in­te­grated net­works be­lieve that the reg­u­la­tions need to be mod­ern­ized to meet the goals of care co­or­di­na­tion.

HHS agreed more flex­i­ble rules are needed to make it eas­ier to de­velop elec­tronic in­fra­struc­ture as well as mea­sure per­for­mance and qual­ity im­prove­ment.

The pro­posed rules would al­low pa­tients to con­sent to in­for­ma­tion­shar­ing within a broader con­text. For in­stance, they could pro­vide con­sent to shar­ing data with a spe­cific hos­pi­tal rather than a num­ber of spe­cific clin­i­cians. Or they could con­sent to shar­ing with an HIE and “my treat­ing providers.”

The new rules also would give providers more dis­cre­tion to de­ter­mine whether some­thing is a “med­i­cal emer­gency” for the pur­poses of shar­ing in­for­ma­tion, al­low elec­tronic sig­na­tures on con­sent forms and loosen re­stric­tions on dis­clo­sures for re­search pur­poses, among other things.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.