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Confidentiality Law

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The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) today released Information Bulletin 02-22: Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Records.

Act 33 of 2022 took effect immediately when Gov. Wolf signed it on July 7, 2022. Act 33 makes significant changes to the confidentiality provisions for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records under Pennsylvania law and DDAP’s enforcement of those provisions. Act 33 amends the definitions, 71 P.S. § 1690.102, and the confidentiality provisions, 71 P.S. § 1690.108, of Act 63 of 1972, the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act.

Read the Information Bulletin.

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The Pennsylvania Senate today passed HB 1563 and HB 1561, sending the substance use disorder and mental health confidentiality-related bills to Gov. Wolf to sign into law. He is expected to sign both.

Both bills align Pennsylvania’s confidentiality laws with federal confidentiality laws, including 42 CFR and HIPAA. Barring a Gov. Wolf veto of HB 1563, Pennsylvania’s 4 Pa Code 255.5 will be eliminated.

Advocates of improved care coordination and integration have long pointed to 4 Pa Code 255.5 as a barrier, citing the limited amount of information allowed to be shared and the few entities with whom it could be shared, even with patient consent.