What Is 42 CFR Part 2? Integrating specialized substance use disorder treatment services into the larger health care system is one key to improving overall addiction care in the United States, and requires that all health care providers communicate with each other seamlessly. Standing in the way, however, is an outdated rule known as 42 CFR Part 2 related to privacy and confidentiality of patient health information. Even the name is arcane. So, let’s start by answering the question: what is 42 CFR Part 2? 42 CFR Part 2 is a set of regulations put in place decades ago to ensure the privacy of patients who are treated for substance use disorders. Later, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to protect the privacy of people receiving all kinds of health care services. Part 2 was welcome, well-intentioned and necessary many years ago. But with HIPPA in place and working well to protect patient privacy and patient records, Part 2 is no longer needed. In fact, Part 2 actually serves as a barrier to accessing the best integrated care and deprives patients of the full benefits of modern health care services. Closely integrating treatment for substance use disorder within the broader health care system will modernize care, creating multiple access points and support in addressing this chronic condition beyond the acute care stage. When screening, assessments, interventions, use of medications and care are coordinated between general health systems and specialty addiction treatment programs, both systems will benefit, improving quality, effectiveness and efficiency of care, and reducing costs. That’s why we support bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives legislation to align the Part 2 requirements, which apply to only to substance use treatment providers, with those of HIPAA, which apply to all health care providers and allow the use and disclosure of patient health information when needed to facilitate optimal care. Part 2 currently limits patients’ rights to control their own health information and hinders access to electronic prescribing, electronic health record capabilities, treatment collaboration with other providers and processing of claims. The regulations are also unnecessarily burdensome on non-profit entities and those that treat the poor and elderly through government funds, as for-profit treatment providers are not subject to the Part 2 regulations. It is also important to note that Part 2 regulations are the only privacy regulations that apply to a single disease state: substance use disorders. Patient privacy and confidentiality related to other diseases, including those that also carry significant stigma, are fully protected by HIPAA and state privacy statutes. Reforming the outdated regulations will increase access and improve care for patients who seek substance use treatment. This will all enable providers to better coordinate the care of their patients and ensure all of a patient’s providers have the patient records and health information they need for safe, effective, high-quality treatment and care coordination in order to address all of a patient’s health needs on par with the broader health care system.