AMA urges Congress not to loosen restrictions on privacy for patients with addiction history

Pitting itself against mental health and hospital groups, the AMA is urging Congress not to allow doctors to more freely share information about a patient’s history of drug use.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), left, and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), chairman and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association is opposing a change to patient privacy laws that would allow doctors to more freely share information about a patient’s history of substance use, a proposal that has divided the health care community and highlighted some of the challenges of addressing the opioid epidemic.

In a letter to lawmakers obtained by STAT, the AMA said it believed there was a “fundamental misunderstanding” among groups working to incorporate the proposal into a . Relaxing restrictions on

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