■■ ■ The Final Rule. Finalized in
January 2017, the Final Rule
provides major revisions to US
federal regulations governing
the confidentiality of substance-use-disorder patient records.
■■ ■ Consent and disclose. The Final
Rule authorizes disclosures of
confidential health information
to specific individuals or treating
entities like hospitals or clinics.
In addition, the rule permits
patients who have consented to
disclose their information using
a general designation to receive
a list of entities with which their
information has been shared.
■■ ■ The state level. Since 2016, at
least 15 US states have enacted
laws aimed at preventing the abuse
of opioids. In Connecticut, for
example, lawmakers adopted “an
Act Concerning Opioids and Access
to Overdose Reversal Drugs,”
which limits opioid prescriptions
to minors to seven days.
■■ ■ One against many. While most
of the recent federal updates
and state legislation apply to
individual prescribers, there
will be an increased focus on
larger scale health organizations,
including hospitals and urgent care
facilities. It’s imperative that these
facilities consider their controlled
substance policies and adapt where
necessary to ensure compliance.