The year was 1987. Ronald Reagan was President. “The Princess Bride” and “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” were hot at the box office. “Walk Like an Egyptian” was the No. 1 song. It was also the last time the regulations governing federally assisted alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs found at 42 C.F.R. Part 2 were substantively updated. Recognizing that a few things have changed since then, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released proposed revisions to 42 C.F.R. Part 2 on Friday.

SAMHSA stated that it believes these proposed revisions will “result in a decrease in the burdens associated with several aspects of” 42 C.F.R. Part 2. SAMHSA also stated these changes would increase the number of individuals with substance use disorders participating in health information exchanges (HIEs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs), leading to “increased efficiency and quality in the provision of health care for this population.”

A summary of the major proposed revisions are included in our recent client alert. Although these proposed revisions would update 42 C.F.R Part 2 to take into account the existence of electronic records and developments such as HIEs, many of the proposed revisions will place additional burdens on Part 2 Programs.