Adam Hepworth Discusses HHS Proposed Part 2 Rule

05 December 2022 Report on Medicare Compliance News

Foley & Lardner LLP Senior Counsel Adam Hepworth is quoted in the article, “Proposed Part 2 Rule Brings It Closer to HIPAA, Including Enforcement, Consent, NPP,” in the Report on Medicare Compliance, published by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), on the potential impact of the proposed U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation on the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patients Records under Part 2.

“Part 2 has been this rule for decades that is very difficult to comply with,” Hepworth said, “but the counterbalance is it wasn’t actively enforced through criminal penalties. Now by aligning more closely with HIPAA, it might be easier to comply with, but probably will have more enforcement.”

Hepworth explained that although there has never been a criminal enforcement action for a Part 2 violation, since HHS has experience investigating breaches, imposing penalties, and requiring corrective action, Part 2 providers might face enforcement actions down the road for violations.

Though the proposed rule goes further to mesh with HIPAA, Hepworth noted that “it’s not a total alignment.”

“Part 2 is still a privacy law with its own requirements and still in some cases imposes stricter standards. The burden reduction is largely in the consent process,” he added.

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