I wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest legislative developments to amending the 42 CFR Part 2 regulation to align with HIPAA for purposes of treatment, payment and operations.
As you may know already, the Senate intends to vote on its opioid package next week. Prior to Labor Day, the coalition that AHIMA is a member of held multiple discussions with Senate HELP Committee staff to include language similar to HR 6082 in the package. Ultimately, the compromise language offered was not a workable solution that we could agree to. As a result, as the Senate bill comes to the floor next week, it will NOT contain language that seeks to amend 42 CFR Part 2.
That said, this issue is far from over. Once the Senate passes its opioid bill, the House and Senate will appoint members from both the House and Senate to serve as “conferees.” The conferees will be tasked with hashing out the differences between the House and Senate bills to create a “conference report” which will go back to each chamber for a final vote before being sent to the President for his signature. Given that HR 6082 overwhelmingly passed the House (due to your fantastic grassroots efforts), we have a strong position going into conference to negotiate HR 6082’s inclusion in the final conference report.
As we await appointment of the conferees following Senate passage of the opioid bill, I will continue to update you on developments. With respect to timing, as of this week, we expect to focus on grassroots efforts in late September/October. Final passage of the conference report will likely occur during the lame duck session following the November election. (Of course, this timeline may speed up or slip depending on a number of other legislative “must-do” items currently in the mix!) In any event, your support and efforts over the next few months will be critical in getting HR 6082 across the finish line!
I hope this update is helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Lauren Riplinger, JD
Senior Director, Federal Relations
AHIMA | American Health Information Management Association
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 502 | Washington, DC 20036
Improving Health Through Trusted Information