Webinar On HIPAA vs. SAMHSA 42 CFR Part 2: Managing Disclosures when Substance Abuse Is Involved

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  • Published date: December 14, 2018
    • Fremont, California, United States


This session focuses on the issues of managing health information when it may involve substance

abuse treatment information. HIPAA allows a number of disclosures without consent that SAMHSA

prohibits without consent.

First we will explain how HIPAA relates to information management and release and explain the

processes required for various releases of information under the HIPAA rules, including release

according to individual access requests, and under HIPAA authorizations.

When substance abuse treatment information is involved, first you need to understand how to

identify it. We will discuss how to make it distinguishable from "regular" health information,

so that the appropriate extra protections can be provided. You may be able to use functions in

your EHR to flag the information, or you may create a manual process for tracking the

information, if it is rarely handled in your organization. And the substance abuse treatment

information you collect may or may not be under SAMHSA depending on whether or not you have a

department or even a response team that specializes in SAMHSA-related situations. You need to

understand your status under the rules before you release information inappropriately. We will

discuss what qualifies treatment that falls under SAMHSA.

If your organization provides services that create information that is under the SAMHSA

regulations, you will need to establish the consent and release of information processes that

are required to be followed for information releases under 42 CFR Part 2. This involves getting

the proper consents upon establishment of the relationship, as well as managing consents for

releases that may be necessary after the initial establishment of the relationship. The session

will include an explanation of the consent and release requirements that must be followed.

When you release information under HIPAA, there are no special notices required to be placed on

the records. But when you release information under SAMHSA, each document must have a notice

that explains that re-disclosure is not permitted without a new consent. Complicating matters

are updated rules going into effect that will allow a consent that permits a re-release to a

defined team of providers caring for the individual, but then require meticulous documentation

of to whom the information has been released under such a consent. The session will go over the

rules on consents and re-release of information.

With the current epidemic of opioid abuse, there has been a great deal of publicity around the

release of information and the necessity to share information with family and friends to

facilitate recovery, but the rules remain in place as is. HIPAA allows such releases under some

circumstances, while a consent is required under 42 CFR Part 2. HHS has issued guidance on how

to deal with the regulations in the face of the crisis, but the inconsistencies and

difficulties remain. In this session we will review the guidance and learn how it helps explain

some of the rules.

Overall, substance abuse treatment information can complicate your records management and

release processes, but by recognizing and planning for the issues, you can minimize the


Why should you Attend: Today we are in the midst of an epidemic of substance abuse, and

particularly opioid abuse, and more and more providers are involved in providing treatment to

people with substance abuse issues. When substance abuse is involved, the rules of SAMHSA under

42 CFR Part 2 come into play. But who is covered under the rules, what's involved in meeting

them, and how do they interact with HIPAA? HIPAA allows a number of disclosures, for treatment,

payment, and healthcare operations purposes, without consent from the individual being treated.

SAMHSA rules, on the other hand, require consent for every disclosure or re-disclosure, and if

the proper consents aren't obtained, the provider can be in violation of the rules and subject

to penalties.

Areas Covered in the Session:

What HIPAA allows, what SAMHSA requires, and the differences will be explained
We will examine how to deternmine if the services you provide place you under 42 CFR Part 2
We will explore the means for making sure substance abuse treatment information receives the

appropriate protections
The consent and release requirements under 42 CFR Part 2 will be explained
Re-release of information released under 42 CFR Part 2 will be discussed
Sharing of information with family and friends in an overdose incident will be explored
The latest guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Services on harmonization of

SAMHSA and HIPAA will be explained

Who Will Benefit:
Compliance Director
Privacy Officer
Security Officer
Information Systems Manager
HIPAA Officer
Chief Information Officer
Health Information Manager
Healthcare Counsel/Lawyer
Office Manager

Result 0 votes
Roger Steven
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