Opioid Safety Alliance Celebrates Passage of OPPS Act Reforming Flawed 42 CFR Part 2 Law

WASHINGTON, DC (June 20, 2018): Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance - a working group of prescribers, dispensers, professional societies, and patients advocating for the use of technology to fight illegitimate opioid use - applauded the bipartisan House passage today of H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act

The Health IT Now-endorsed bill would reform the flawed patient privacy law known as 42 CFR Part 2 that silos addiction treatment information from the rest of an individual's medical record, thereby preventing prescribers from making fully informed clinical decisions. Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance wrote about the need for such measures as far back as last November and awarded the bill's sponsor, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), its Health IT Pioneer award, the organization's highest honor, for carrying the bill.

More recently Health IT Now's Joel White and Centerstone CEO David Guth wrote about the need for passage of the OPPS Act in a joint blog post for Mental Health month, calling the existing law a "broken status quo" that has "proven deadly in the past" 

HITN Opioid Safety Alliance Executive Director Joel White released the following statement:

"For too long, the flawed 42 CFR Part 2 law has placed an electronic wall between patients' addiction treatment records and the rest of their health history. In most situations, federal regulations keep this information even from their own doctors who want to help. This ill-conceived regulation impedes care coordination and prevents prescribers from making fully informed clinical decisions based on a clear picture of a patient’s overall health," said Health IT Now Opioid Safety Alliance Executive Director Joel White. "The OPPS Act will, at long last, align our laws governing addiction treatment records with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects the confidentiality of the rest of a patient’s medical history. This is a smart step in the right direction that will protect the well-being of those recovering from substance misuse and ensure prescribers do not become unwitting aides to a patient's relapse. Health IT Now was proud to lead the charge for this legislation's passage in the House and will continue working to see it passed in the Senate and enacted into law in short order."