PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier this week, U.S. Senate and House leaders agreed upon an amended opioid legislation package, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R.6. While OCHIN supports this desperately needed legislation, we are deeply disappointed that a critical piece was omitted, The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, H.R. 6082. The OPPS Act would have aligned policy around substance use disorder records with HIPAA privacy regulations, ensuring all patients receive effective and coordinated care.
"Successful care coordination, especially in community health centers and the patients they support, cannot take place without removing unnecessary and obsolete restrictions around the sharing of patient records related to substance abuse. Without this modernization, the objectives set out in the opioid package cannot be fully achieved. Without reform, providers cannot access a full medical record and share critical information to treat the whole patient," says Abby Sears, the CEO of OCHIN.
As a member of the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2, OCHIN is aligned with over 170 patient, health care provider, physician, addiction treatment, municipal, and other organizations, as well as the nation's governors, state Medicaid directors, and the Department of Health and Human Services, who all voiced their support for this Part 2 reform. These national health care providers and partners are patently aware that this alignment is critical for safe, coordinated care delivery in the face of this devastating epidemic.
"Despite this setback, we are not giving up on Part 2 reform to reach our goal of a complete medical record, which is necessary to ensure the delivery of the highest level of care, regardless of location or provider," Sears went on to say.
OCHIN actively urges the Senate to hold a separate vote on the OPPS Act to ensure enhanced patient safety, care coordination, and consumer protections become law.
Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit OCHIN is one of the largest and most successful health information and innovation networks, serving over 500 organizations comprised of more than 10,000 clinicians across the nation with solutions that improve the integration and delivery of health care services. As a learning organization, OCHIN started with a commitment to deliver health information technology support and services and has continued to provide its expanding community of customers and partners with the innovative tools, knowledge, and voice needed to participate in the national health care landscape. Learn more at www.ochin.org.