Overcoming Data-Sharing Challenges in the Opioid Epidemic

Prepared for the California Health Care Foundation

The opioid epidemic has prompted efforts across the country to increase the availability of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Through medication-assisted treatment programs and other efforts, primary care practices have taken a more prominent role in providing care for patients with SUD. The opioid epidemic comes at a time when the delivery system for SUD care overall is evolving, as states and providers aim to break down treatment silos and encourage care to be coordinated among different providers and integrated with other forms of healthcare, including physical and mental health services.

But a common roadblock for these practices is federal confidentiality rules, which can make effective information sharing a challenge. SUD providers and primary care practices must balance the privacy protections set forth under 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2 (generally referred to as “Part 2”) with their efforts to integrate and coordinate care.

In a new paper prepared for the California Health Care Foundation, Manatt Health summarizes the requirements of and recent changes to Part 2. The paper analyzes how these regulations apply to primary care practices that seek to provide SUD treatment, and how providers in different settings are navigating these rules as they work to provide holistic care for their patients.

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