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HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Prevent Discrimination in Health Care

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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Prevent Discrimination in Health Care

September 17, 2015 | Employers & Business Practices | Comments
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Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule aimed at prevention of discriminatory practices in health care. The proposed regulations, issued by the Office of Civil Rights, aim to advance the efforts of health equity through the Affordable Care Act by prohibiting discrimination in health care on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, or disability.

“This proposed rule is an important step to strengthen protections for people who have often been subject to discrimination in our health care system,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement. “This is another example of this Administration’s commitment to giving every American access to the health care they deserve.”

The rule advances a number of new protections. Of most concern to community mental health and substance use providers are the protections provided to those with disabilities, including provisions to provide effective communication and equal access to needed treatment.

While the rule does address many pressing needs throughout the health care community, it does not address efforts of importance to the National Council, including health care benefit design issues. The National Council is presently drafting comments for the proposed rule and will be share them with you upon completion.

For more on this proposed rule, click here.