News Release
March 3, 2020 

NAACOS Supports Reintroduced Bill to Modernize Substance Use Disorder Treatment Privacy Law
Attributed to Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of the National Association of ACOs 

The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) thanks Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for their leadership on the reintroduced Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, which makes changes to earlier versions that should draw broader support to update privacy protections for patients with substance use disorders. After decades of obstacles to providing coordinated care for these patients, it is critical that barriers from outdated laws be removed, which this bill would do. Among other changes, the new bill requires patients’ one-time, written consent before their information may be shared. It also allows patients to opt-out in the future should they change their minds. 

While this won’t provide full alignment with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that NAACOS has been pushing for, it would make an important update to improve the treatment of patients with substance use disorder. Accountable care organizations and their clinicians have largely been blind to the medical history of their patients because they were made responsible for patients’ care but only give part of their data.  Moving to a system that better pays for quality and value requires well-coordinated care, and providers must be given a better understanding of their populations, while respecting patient privacy. 

Contact:

David Pittman
NAACOS Health Policy and Communications Advisor
202-640-2689 or dp[email protected]