CHA News

HHS Issues Rules on Nondiscrimination in Health Care

What’s happening: The Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) issued two final rules to strengthen nondiscrimination protections in health care.  

What else to know: These rules also aim to ensure equitable access to health care. Hospitals will need to update their policies and procedures to comply with the new rules. 

On May 1, HHS released a final rule protecting people with disabilities from discrimination by: 

  • Clarifying and strengthening civil rights protections for people with disabilities 
  • Addressing discrimination in medical treatment 
  • Adding enforceable standards for accessible medical diagnostic equipment 
  • Ensuring accessible web content and mobile apps 

The final rule also helps protect individuals with disabilities from experiencing discrimination in any program or activity receiving funding from HHS because of their disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Additionally, the final rule updates existing requirements to make them consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The rule is effective July 8. Additional details are available in an HHS fact sheet.  

On May 6, HHS published a final rule reinstating certain regulatory protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health care programs and activities under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which were removed by the prior administration in 2020. The rule also clarifies that nondiscrimination continues to apply to the use of artificial intelligence, clinical algorithms, predictive analytics, and other tools. This rule is effective July 5. A summary of the final rule is available in an HHS press release.