Substance Abuse 


More than 115 people die every day from overdoses on opioids, which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NAACOS has advocated for an update a 1970s-era law that requires patients sign off on individual providers who can view substance abuse treatment records. That law, called 42 CFR Part 2, prevents the sharing of information and care coordination that ACOs offer. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, aligns privacy protections for substance abuse treatment records with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Unlike HIPAA, patients must provide a one-time, written consent to have their records shared. The changes will only take effect after HHS undergoes notice-and-comment rulemaking, which has not yet happened.

Below are resources NAACOS has developed for its members along with responses to regulation from CMS and letters of support for a change in Part 2 law. 

Advocacy and News

  • NAACOS submits comments on proposed rule seeking parity between HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2

  • HHS proposes to create parity between HIPAA and the privacy of substance use disorder patient records
  • NAACOS letter calls on CMS and SAMHSA to provide ACOs access to substance use disorder claims data

  • HHS finalizes changes to the privacy of substance use disorder patient records
  • NAACOS and others urge HHS to expedite rulemaking around sharing substance use disorder record

  • Healthcare coalition commends Congress for swift action to improve the safety and care coordination of patients with substance use disorder

  • NAACOS joins letter supporting reintroduced bill that modernizes substance use disorder privacy law

  • NAACOS submits comments on 2019 proposed rule that makes changes to 42 CFR Part 2

  • HHS releases proposed rule that makes changes to 42 CFR Part 2
  • NAACOS joins others in applauding the reintroduction of Part 2 bills in Congress
  • NAACOS resource on the final 2018 opioids law 

  • NAACOS joins 200-plus stakeholders in asking Congress to align substance treatment privacy with HIPAA

  • House passes H.R. 6082 by huge margin

  • NAACOS supports use of telehealth in opioid addiction treatment
    • Part 2 Partnership sends letter to Senate Finance Committee supporting S. 1850

  • NAACOS joins the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 coalition

  • NAACOS memo outlines key compliance issues resulting from recent SAMHSA rule
    • SAMHSA releases final rule making changes to regulations governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records

  • NAACOS Summary of Accessing Substance Use Disorder Information Final Rule 


As we move forward with advocacy efforts, we encourage ACOs to be active in communicating their experience with substance abuse laws and regulations. ACOs are encouraged to share feedback with us at [email protected]