Capitol Correspondence - 08.09.22

HHS Seeks Comments on Proposed ACA Anti-Discrimination Rule

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is seeking comment on a proposed rule which implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in covered health programs and activities.

The proposed rule would reflect Section 1557’s application to HHS health programs and activities, which holds HHS accountable to the same standards of compliance with civil rights laws to which it holds recipients of Federal financial assistance. The proposed rule would also reinstate the rule clarifying that Section 1557 generally applies to many health insurance issuers and prohibits discrimination in health insurance and other health-related coverage.

OCR specifically seeks comment on “how state Medicaid agencies are able to achieve compliance with the integration mandate through benefit design, such as through reimbursement, service scope and service authorization that do not incentivize institutional services over community services.”

Written comments are due by October 3, 2022.