The audience had a chance to tweet their opinions at the presentation, "42 CFR Part 2: What Do Providers Really Think?" led by Renée M. Popovits, principal attorney Popovits & Robinson, P.C. (Frankfort, Ill.). Although some results varied slightly from the base line, which had been set by a nationwide survey of interested stakeholders in 2013, the venue offered a fun way to engage with attendees to discuss issues surrounding confidentiality during the lunchtime event.
Among the questions considered was on patient choice: "How important do you think care coordination/integration of substance use, medical and mental health care is to improved outcomes for patients?" Important! they replied.
Confidentiality laws are typically considered to be a significant barrier to inclusion of Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) information in HIEs, but Popovits was quick to point out that confidentiality is not the real barrier. The real issue is the need to change front end workflows to get the required permissions.
The general consensus regarding whether SUD information should have great privacy protection than MH information was that the data should be treated similarly and the laws should be changed to increase the protections afforded MH information. No easy feat, attendees agreed.
As for whether or not 42 CFR Part 2 has a significant impact on stigma as it relates to SUD treatment, the national audience was evenly divided among. About one third thought it helps prevent stigma, one third thought it promotes stigma, and one third thought it made no difference.