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Rural Health
News by Topic: Substance use and misuse

Dec 2, 2022 - Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposing changes to the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records under 42 CFR part 2 ("Part 2"), which protects patient privacy and records concerning treatment related to substance use challenges from unauthorized disclosures. This NPRM would implement provisions of Section 3221 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which, among other things, requires HHS to bring Part 2 into greater alignment with certain aspects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules. Comments are due by January 31, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 30, 2022 - Reports on the increase in prescribed buprenorphine for the treatment of addiction to heroin or opioid painkillers, noting the accessibility of treatment for rural patients who would otherwise have to travel daily to cities to receive methadone treatment. Notes the increase in overdoses due to the prevalence of fentanyl misuse.
Source: NBC News and Kaiser Health News
Nov 22, 2022 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) seeking comments on the extension of an information collection titled "Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records." Comments are due by January 23, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 18, 2022 - Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) making changes to the following: 1) Physician Fee Schedule and Medicare Part B payment policies; 2) Medicare Shared Savings Program requirements; 3) updates to the Quality Payment Program; 4) Medicare coverage of opioid use disorder services furnished by opioid treatment programs; 5) updates to certain Medicare and Medicaid provider enrollment policies; 6) updates to conditions of payment for DMEPOS suppliers; 7) coding and payment for wound care management product; 8) requirements for electronic prescribing for controlled substances for a covered Part D drug under a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan; and 9) updates to the Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection System. Includes rural references throughout. These regulations are effective January 1, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 8, 2022 - Highlights the recently launched Recovery Ecosystem Index Mapping Tool and the development of the resource. Discusses the tool's ability to provide county-level information on available opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) recovery services, demographic information, and county overdose mortality rates in order to support community stakeholders to build recovery infrastructure.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 2, 2022 - Introduces Life360 HOMEs, an addition to the Arkansas Medicaid expansion program (ARHOME). The new component aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, fill gaps in care for people with substance use disorder, especially in rural areas, and increase participation among beneficiaries in improving their health and addressing health-related social needs.
Nov 1, 2022 - Announces the Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, which aims to increase access to behavioral health, wellness, and whole-person care. Outlines coverage for behavioral health services and opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, expanded colon cancer screening coverage, changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, and dental services that are integral to covered medical services.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services