July 16, 2020

Around the nation: HHS finalizes rule that seeks to improve care coordination for substance use disorders

Daily Briefing

    HHS on Monday finalized a rule that relaxes some privacy restrictions related to patients' substance use disorder records, allowing providers to share the records more easily, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

    • District of Columbia: HHS on Monday approved a final rule relaxing some privacy restrictions related to patients' substance use disorder records, allowing providers to share the records more easily. While HHS said the rule aims to improve care coordination for substance use disorders, critics raised concerns that the changes may make patients hesitant to seek treatment if they believe their information will no longer be adequately protected (Cirruzzo, Inside Health Policy, 7/13 [subscription required]; Brady, Modern Healthcare, 7/13; Hackett, Healthcare Finance News, 7/13).
    • Massachusetts: Brigham and Women's Hospital has received a $25 million gift from Andrew and Kate Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, which the hospital will use to establish a new Alzheimer's disease prevention program. Betsy Nabel, the hospital's president, said the gift "will significantly accelerate our work" to predict and prevent Alzheimer's "and bring us closer to our ultimate goal of eradicating" the disease (Paavola, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 7/14).
    • Maryland: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday was discharged from Johns Hopkins Hospital after being admitted earlier in the wek to be treated for a possible infection. According to Kathleen Arberg, a spokesperson for the Court, Ginsburg during her hospital stay underwent an endoscopic procedure to clean out a bile duct stent that she received last year during treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. A Supreme Court spokesperson said on Wednesday that Ginsberg, post-discharge, is now "at home and doing well" (Berman/LeBlanc, CNN, 7/15; Vigdor, New York Times, 7/14; Kendall, Wall Street Journal, 7/14; Gerstein, Politico, 7/14).

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