HealthBI President Scott McFarland Quoted in Becker’s Hospital Review Article on the Senate’s Proposed “Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.”
HealthBI President, Scott McFarland, was quoted in an April 24, 2018 online article entitled “Healthcare Executives React to Proposed Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018” published by Becker’s Hospital Review, the leading source of cutting-edge business and legal information for healthcare industry leaders.
The article asked executives from across the healthcare landscape to share their reactions to the proposed bill, and their thoughts on how it might help address the opioid crisis.
McFarland was quoted as saying, “One of the most promising aspects of this bill is that it tackles the confusion over how to appropriately disclose patient health information—in this case, substance abuse disorder medical records. Thanks to HIPAA, this confusion has long reined over common sense and kept many important initiatives in behavioral and mental healthcare from getting off the ground. That said, the Opioid Crisis Response Act doesn’t eliminate privacy concerns, and as we get deeper into sharing such records, it will be important to work with technology vendors and other organizations that are experienced in keeping patient data private and confidential.
Also, it looks like this bill will accelerate the long-wished-for integration of physical healthcare with behavioral healthcare and substance abuse counseling. For example, there is a directive to train providers such as pain specialists in detecting substance abuse. It will naturally follow that these providers will want to connect any patient with a suspected substance abuse disorder to the appropriate resources for help.
The very good news is that the model for this is already established with the integration of primary care services and behavioral health, and the use of shared data platforms that show a whole picture of patient health. These platforms are also adept at keeping patient data private and confidential.”