Is Going to Treatment for Substance Abuse on My Record?
Anytime for someone who seeks out help for drug treatment, they naturally want to know if their treatment is kept confidential. Essentially, confidential means the treatment is private, not shared with anyone unless specific permission has been given to share it. The Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records guarantees a patient's privacy. There are even several updates meant to satisfy the electronic health record systems out there. Everything requires that patients sign off on who gets their information, and the consent must say who the information goes to. There are also restrictions on the use of ID cards that might identify patients as having a substance use disorder. However, when patients go to physicians, not the methadone clinics or opioid treatment programs, for buprenorphine the information is not necessarily protected. Prescriptions automatically go into the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is not the same as a patient health record but is accessible to law enforcement.
Regarding drug and alcohol addiction treatment, broad protection is granted to all records related to the identity, and any diagnosis or prognosis, along with the treatment of any patient. However, the records of substance abuse treatment are not protected when they come within the scope of any state law requiring the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act established national standards to protect an individual's medical records and personal health information. The federal Public Health Services Act includes privacy rules that protect the confidentiality of rehabilitation records. Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction does show up on health records, and there are electronic health records of methadone and buprenorphine treatment. The primary goal is an effective treatment, and if you are concerned about your privacy, you should speak with the treatment program.