A drug and alcohol treatment provider member has asked whether regulations requiring clients to sign releases of information (ROIs) are suspended during the Covid pandemic disaster.
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has not suspended these regulations. In instances where a client’s signature is missing, the provider will be cited.
DDAP has suggested that providers can use a drop box, socially distance or mail releases to obtain signed consent. Some providers are also using document managements systems, including Docushare, to obtain client signatures.
In March 2020, DDAP issued a clarification on 42 CFR that explained that, under both federal and state law, Pennsylvania’s providers can only release client information in a medical emergency, even during the covid pandemic. The two-page clarification can be found here.