HHS Announces Final Rule Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a final rule to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities. According to HHS, under the final rule individuals are protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping.
According to the HHS announcement, the final rule prohibits sexual discrimination in health care including by:
- Requiring that women must be treated equally with men in the health care they receive. Other provisions of the ACA bar certain types of sex discrimination in insurance, for example by prohibiting women from being charged more than men for coverage. Under Section 1557, women are protected from discrimination not only in the health coverage they obtain but in the health services they seek from providers.
- Prohibiting denial of health care or health coverage based on an individual's sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.
The final rule also enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and helps to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities, including by:
- Requiring covered entities to make electronic information and newly constructed or altered facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities.
- Requiring covered entities to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency. Covered entities are also encouraged to develop language access plans.
To read the rest of the HHS announcement click HERE.
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