Jud DeLoss testifies before congressional subcommittee on Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act
Greensfelder Officer Gerald E. (Jud) DeLoss testified May 8 before a House subcommittee as the subject matter legal expert relating to the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (H.R. 3545). The bill, which DeLoss helped draft, would allow the disclosure of patient information related to substance use disorders (SUD) in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
DeLoss, who focuses his practice on mental health and SUD matters, discussed H.R. 3545 before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Technically, H.R. 3545 would align Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 2 with HIPAA concerning the confidentiality of SUD records. This would allow SUD patient information to be legally shared with health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses for treatment, payment, and health care operations. The bill also would increase the penalties for disclosure, as well as add breach notification requirements and provide discrimination prohibitions to protect people seeking and receiving SUD treatment. The bill’s authors are Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
“H.R. 3545 is designed to allow sharing of information about SUD and other treatment programs covered by Part 2 that could be very helpful for addressing the national opioids addiction crisis that is currently a major focus for Congress,” DeLoss says. “The ability for health care providers to see a patient’s entire medical record is critical when opioids are prescribed or when contraindicated drugs could cause serious injury or death to a patient.”
A member of Greensfelder’s Health Care industry group, DeLoss also helps clients with matters concerning HIPAA, HITECH and telehealth requirements, as well as all aspects of health law involving compliance, reimbursement, privacy, and information technology. His clients include behavioral health care providers, health information technology vendors, federally qualified health centers, hospitals and research organizations, and health care industry trade and professional associations.
A former chair of both the Health Information and Technology Practice Group and the Behavioral Health Task Force of the American Health Lawyers Association, DeLoss is a frequent author and lecturer on health care topics nationally and internationally.
Read a related article by DeLoss in the July 2018 Meritas Healthcare Newsletter here.