C4BH Round-Up: February 20, 2024

Data Sharing To Support Health Care And Homelessness Services

Historically, housing and health care systems are disconnected, creating challenges in serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Lessons learned to better serve this vulnerable population through data sharing are available from the Community Solutions Built for Zero Initiative, which experienced success in coordinating services and providing continuity of care by leveraging one-way data exchange from homelessness service providers to health care systems. (WHYY, 2/5)

HHS Releases 42 CFR Part 2 Final Rule

On February 8th, HHS finalized a rule impacting the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records regulations under 42 CFR Part 2, which establishes privacy protections for patient SUD treatment records.

The final rule seeks to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA, notably around patient consent for uses and disclosures, re-disclosure by HIPAA covered entities, patient notice, penalties, and breach notifications while maintaining privacy and supporting the integration of behavioral health data in medical records. (Health IT Security, 2/8)

State Efforts to Protect Reproductive Health Data

In the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, some states are looking enact protections for reproductive health care data. There are reports of location data being sold to support anti-abortion ad campaigns and concerns around reproductive health data being disclosed without patient consent to support law enforcement investigations. States that have passed legislation to protect this sensitive data include Connecticut, Nevada, Washington, New York, California, and Maryland. (Associated Press, 2/16)

ONC: Key Takeaways For SDOH Information Exchange

To advance the goals of the U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) hosted a series of learning forums focused on SDOH information exchange. The following themes emerged as priorities to meaningfully advance this work:

  • Community stewardship is crucial, especially among community-based organizations (CBOs)
  • Establish governance with diverse representatives, including CBOs and individuals with lived experiences
  • Privacy, security, and individual consent are common barriers to success
  • Expand vendor-agnostic approaches, social sector engagement in standards development, and community readiness for FHIR can progress SDOH information exchange (ONC, 2/7)

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