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Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility Compliance

California law mandates that drug and alcohol treatment facilities comply with various regulations to ensure quality care and safety for patients. These regulations include licensing requirements, staffing qualifications, treatment protocols, facility standards, confidentiality of patient information, and ethical practices. Drug and alcohol treatment facility compliance allows patients to receive effective treatment for substance abuse. 

Working with an experienced healthcare lawyer at Fenton Jurkowitz Law Group will ensure that your online alcohol treatment, inpatient alcohol treatment, or addiction treatment facility stays up to date on the latest laws and regulations to ensure compliance and mitigate legal risks. 

Protocols for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers

According to California Health & Safety Code § 11834.015, alcohol and drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities are required to abide by the American Society of Addiction Medicine treatment criteria or a similar evidence-based standard as the minimum level of care for licensed facilities. Adopting this standard of care means conducting an all-encompassing assessment of the patient’s life to determine the aid they need. The assessment criteria include the following areas:

  • Current and past use of substances and history of withdrawal.
  • Biomedical needs and health history. 
  • Emotional, behavioral, or cognitive conditions and complications.
  • Willingness and readiness to change and work toward sobriety. 
  • Individual needs that might lead to relapse, continued use, or continued problem potential.
  • Recovering/living environment.

The Licensing and Certification Division (LCD) of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) handles complaints against and violations of drug recovery and treatment programs. Title XI of the California Code of Regulations requires licensed drug/alcohol treatment facilities to report counselor misdemeanors or violations to DHCS within 24 hours.

Scope of Services

Drug treatment facilities and alcohol recovery centers in California must adhere to specific service requirements to provide the highest level of care to patients struggling with substance abuse disorders. The facility must be licensed to provide the following mandated services to address patients’ physical, psychological, and social needs:

  • Detoxification. Facilities must offer medically supervised detox services to address withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients during detox challenges. 
  • Individual and group counseling. Licensed therapists must conduct individual and group therapy sessions to address mental and psychological struggles, provide sincere care, facilitate peer support, and share therapeutic techniques and coping mechanisms throughout the treatment process.
  • Treatment planning. Individualized treatment plans that assess each patient’s unique history, needs, and goals will guide patients on their journey toward recovery. Facilities must review and update treatment plans regularly to assess patient’s progress.
  • Educational seminars. These sessions aim to educate patients on essential information regarding substance abuse, addiction recovery, and relapse prevention strategies to assist them with long-term sobriety and healing.

Title 42 Substance Abuse Privacy Requirements

As professional healthcare providers, drug and alcohol treatment facilities have a duty to protect the confidentiality of patient information. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 42 Part 2 prohibits the disclosure or public sharing of substance use disorder treatment records without patient consent. Non-compliance with Title 42 can lead to serious legal repercussions.

Prioritizing the well-being of patients is crucial. A healthcare attorney can work with your facility to ensure compliance with substance abuse confidentiality regulations, ultimately protecting your patients from potential confidentiality breaches and short- and long-term harm. 

HIPAA and State Patient Data Privacy and Security Requirements

CFR Title 42 and HIPAA both provide regulations for addiction and recovery facilities, although they operate separately. One distinction worth noting is the patient consent requirement. Under Title 42, a facility is prohibited from disclosing treatment records without patient consent. HIPAA, on the other hand, allows for disclosure under certain circumstances, such as court-ordered requests or subpoenas. 

Consulting with an experienced healthcare lawyer will ensure compliance with both HIPAA and Title 42 for the best treatment of care for your patients. 

Best Practices in Risk Management

Below are some best practices for mitigating risk in drug and alcohol treatment facilities in California:

  • Ensure strict adherence to licensing requirements, facility standards, ethical practices, and patient confidentiality. 
  • Conduct regular training sessions to keep staff updated on the latest regulations concerning quality patient care, confidentiality, and treatment protocols. Encourage open discussions to address any questions or concerns. 
  • Document all patient records, treatment plans, consent forms, and other relevant information to protect the facility in the case of a legal dispute. 
  • Regularly check in with healthcare lawyers to ensure the facility is up to date on regulatory compliance and the latest laws and regulations. 

Contact a Lawyer for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities

Fenton Jurkowitz Law Group has over 30 years of experience representing addiction and recovery providers in transactional, litigation, regulatory defense, and compliance legal cases. Our team of healthcare law lawyers can provide guidance on compliance issue practices regarding CFR Title 42 regulations, the scope of services requirements, risk management, and other regulations required of addiction facilities.

Running a California substance abuse treatment facility can be complex but legal issues don’t have to be. Contact us today to speak with an experienced healthcare attorney on any individual concerns pertaining to your addiction recovery practice.