On February 15, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced that it had delayed the effective date of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services final rule announced in January regarding the Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Disorder Patient Records (commonly known as the 42 C.F.R. Part 2 regulations).  The final rule – which had been scheduled to take effect February 17, 2017 – will now take effect March 21, 2017.

HHS made this delay in accordance with the new administration’s “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum issued January 20, 2017 that instructed executive agencies to temporarily delay – for a period of 60 days – any regulations that had been published but had not yet taken effect at that time.  See the Robinson+Cole Data Privacy + Security Insider for an expanded discussion.