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Mullin Legislation to Prevent Opioid Overdoses Signed Into Law

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Washington, March 31, 2020 | comments

On Friday, legislation sponsored by Congressmen Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) that will prevent opioid overdoses was signed into law. H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, included a provision that aligns the outdated and restrictive law and regulations, collectively known as 42 CFR Part 2 (or “Part 2”), with the patient privacy protections currently in place under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This allows the medical community to utilize substance use disorder treatment records in the same manner as all other medical records.

“This is long overdue and will without a doubt save lives,” Mullin said. “This legislation allows doctors to get the whole story on their patient’s medical history and ensure that a patient with a history of opioid abuse isn’t treated with opioids. I want to thank my colleague, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, for his work on this issue and I am proud that this bipartisan legislation will provide 21st century care to those who need it the most.”

“In the face of his work to address the immediate and urgent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier lauds the tireless and steadfast leadership of Rep. Markwayne Mullin in passing bipartisan legislation to alleviate the addiction crisis that continues to afflict millions of Americans,” said Susan DeVore, CEO, Premier Inc. “Premier fully supports the provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that will allow healthcare providers to see their patients’ full medical record, including information on addictions after initial patient consent. This will break down existing information and care coordination barriers and enable safe, informed diagnosis, and treatment for substance use disorders.”

“We applaud U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin for his work to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPPA, which was included in the stimulus bill Congress passed last week. He has been a champion of this legislation, which will allow for information to flow between health care professionals to provide safer and better care for our patients with substance use disorders,” said American Psychiatric Association President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This is a good step forward in breaking down barriers for people with substance use disorders to receive effective integrated care.”

“Amid the COVID-19 crisis, NAMI is encouraged that Congress acted to modify the federal 42 CFR Part 2 regulation that governs substance use records to allow for sharing health information among providers with initial written patient consent,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “This move will eliminate major barriers to integrating behavioral health and primary care and will improve care for people living with mental health and substance use conditions well beyond this pandemic. NAMI salutes the leadership of Congressman Mullin and his colleagues in securing this long overdue reform.”

“Rep. Mullin has been a strong, driving force for this legislation for several years, working tirelessly for its passage. We thank him on behalf of our community mental health and substance use treatment provider clients in Oklahoma and across the country as they provide more informed diagnosis and treatment based on a full picture of the patient’s health,” said Netsmart Executive Vice President Kevin Scalia.
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