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Contact:

Sharon Grace
Vice President of Public Relations
(703) 838-0033, ext. 393
sgrace@amga.org

April 11, 2016

AMGA Provides Comments on SAMHSA’s Patient Record and Consent Proposal

Alexandria, VA –AMGA today endorsed the efforts by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to ensure patients seeking treatment for substance use can benefit from the type of care coordination and integrated care delivery that AMGA members provide.  AMGA submitted comments on SAMHSA’s proposed rule to modernize the regulations that govern patient confidentiality protection requirements so that providers may share treatment and other legitimate healthcare information for individuals seeking care for substance use disorders.

“Substance use disorders can be devastating for patients, their family, and the larger community,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Modernizing the patient confidentiality protections will enable multi-specialty medical groups and integrated delivery systems to appropriately share patient data electronically so those seeking treatment can benefit from new healthcare delivery models and providers can identify those who may be in need of substance abuse care.”

The proposed rule facilitates the electronic exchange of substance use disorder information by allowing patients to designate an entity, rather than an individual provider, as having permission to share patient identifying information with those individual providers and entities that are part of the patient’s healthcare team.  Without this needed modification, each individual provider would need to obtain the patient’s consent, which effectively precludes multi-specialty medical groups and integrated healthcare models from delivering and coordinating substance use care.

To further protect patients’ confidentiality, the rule would require entities that are designated to provide substance use disorder treatment to provide patients upon request a so-called “List of Disclosures.”  Further, if the patient provided a “general disclosure,” the patient may request under the list of disclosures individual provider names. 

Read AMGA’s full comments.

About AMGA
The AMGA is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems. AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care. AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. Approximately 177,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 133 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org