We previously reported that the 30 year old regulations (last updated in 1987) relating to the disclosure of substance abuse treatment information has been updated by SAMHSA to bring it into the modern world of electronic health information [view related post]. The Part 2 Final Rule was to go into effect tomorrow (February 17, 2017).

Yesterday, (February 15, 2017) new HHS Secretary Tom Price issued a notice that will be published today in the Federal Register delaying the effective date of the new Part 2 Final Rule from February 17th to March 21, 2017, in order to allow more time for consideration, despite the fact that SAMHSA already received 376 public comments on the proposed changes since the interim rule was published on February 9, 2017.

This move is after the Trump administration imposed a 60 day freeze on new federal rules.

Whether the Part 2 Final Rule goes into effect on February 17 or March 21, Part 2 providers and “other lawful holders” of Part 2 information and their lawyers are continuing to sift through the 292 pages to get a handle on the new requirements. I finished Sunday night.