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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 42: Public Health
§2.13 Confidentiality restrictions.
(a) General. The patient records to which these regulations apply may be disclosed or used only as permitted by these regulations and may not otherwise be disclosed or used in any civil, criminal, administrative, or legislative proceedings conducted by any Federal, State, or local authority. Any disclosure made under these regulations must be limited to that information which is necessary to carry out the purpose of the disclosure.
(b) Unconditional compliance required. The restrictions on disclosure and use in these regulations apply whether the holder of the information believes that the person seeking the information already has it, has other means of obtaining it, is a law enforcement or other official, has obtained a subpoena, or asserts any other justification for a disclosure or use which is not permitted by these regulations.
(c) Acknowledging the presence of patients: Responding to requests. (1) The presence of an identified patient in a facility or component of a facility which is publicly identified as a place where only alcohol or drug abuse diagnosis, treatment, or referral is provided may be acknowledged only if the patient's written consent is obtained in accordance with subpart C of these regulations or if an authorizing court order is entered in accordance with subpart E of these regulations. The regulations permit acknowledgement of the presence of an identified patient in a facility or part of a facility if the facility is not publicy identified as only an alcohol or drug abuse diagnosis, treatment or referral facility, and if the acknowledgement does not reveal that the patient is an alcohol or drug abuser.
(2) Any answer to a request for a disclosure of patient records which is not permissible under these regulations must be made in a way that will not affirmatively reveal that an identified individual has been, or is being diagnosed or treated for alcohol or drug abuse. An inquiring party may be given a copy of these regulations and advised that they restrict the disclosure of alcohol or drug abuse patient records, but may not be told affirmatively that the regulations restrict the disclosure of the records of an identified patient. The regulations do not restrict a disclosure that an identified individual is not and never has been a patient.