CHA News

OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Discrimination During COVID-19

For CEOs, legal counsel

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

On Monday, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance for health care providers on complying with federal civil rights laws during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance focuses on prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, and includes many practical considerations and actions hospitals can take to ensure equitable access to care. 

Hospitals are reminded that additional laws prohibit discrimination based on other factors, such as a person’s sex, religion, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status (unless required by federal law). These and other patients’ rights laws are discussed in chapter 1 of CHA’s Consent Manual, which is available online free to CHA members.