Substance Abuse 


More than 115 people die every day from overdoses on opioids, which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. ACOs stand ready to help, but a 1970s-era law that requires patients sign off on individual providers who can view substance abuse treatment records prevents the sharing of information and care coordination that ACOs offer. NAACOS has advocated for an update to that law, called 42 CFR Part 2, that would align privacy protections for substance abuse treatment records with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. NAACOS continues to advocate for this alignment. Congress has responded, including some modifications to Part 2 in a bill that was signed into law in October 2018. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also made this issue a priority area and is beginning to incorporate certain quality measures related to opioid use and care in programs like the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System. Below are resources NAACOS has developed for its members along with responses to regulation from CMS and letters of support for a change in Part 2 law. 

Advocacy and News

  • NAACOS resource on the final 2018 opioids law 

  • NAACOS joins 200-plus stakeholders in asking Congress to align substance treatment privacy with HIPAA

  • House passes H.R. 6082 by huge margin

  • NAACOS supports use of telehealth in opioid addiction treatment
    • Part 2 Partnership sends letter to Senate Finance Committee supporting S. 1850

  • NAACOS joins the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 coalition

  • NAACOS memo outlines key compliance issues resulting from recent SAMHSA rule
    • SAMHSA releases final rule making changes to regulations governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records

  • NAACOS Summary of Accessing Substance Use Disorder Information Final Rule 


As we move forward with advocacy efforts, we encourage ACOs to be active in communicating their experience with substance abuse laws and regulations. ACOs are encouraged to share feedback with us at [email protected]