HHS Proposed Rule To Prohibit Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Health Care

Historic Opportunity on Disability Discrimination in Healthcare and Human Services

The Biden-Harris Administration is taking further action on its commitment to promote access to health care and human services for persons with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a proposed rule that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.  The rule, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, updates critical provisions that help persons with disabilities access health and human services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The rule, originally published in 1977, advances the promise of the Rehabilitation Act and helps to ensure that people with disabilities are not subjected to discrimination in any program or activity receiving funding from HHS just because they have a disability. 

The proposed rule includes things like*

  • Forbid making healthcare decisions based on disability stereotypes
  • Protect parents with disabilities in the foster care system, so families can stay together
  • Prohibit the child welfare system from placing kids with disabilities in restrictive settings
  • Prohibit organ transplant discrimination on the basis of disability
  • Establishes standards for accessible diagnostic equipment
  • Prohibits the use of value of life assessments in making treatment decisions
  • Hospitals can’t send you to a nursing home as a matter of course
  • Prohibits discriminatory crisis standards of care

The link below includes the full proposed rule and has instructions for how to submit public comment.

The deadline for public comment is November 13, 2023.

*Plain language bullet points by American Association of People with Disabilities via Access Living’s Advocacy Updates from 9/15/23 by Emma Olson

The text in this post is an excerpt of HHS Media Release titled, HHS Issues New Proposed Rule to Strengthen Prohibitions Against Discrimination on the Basis of a Disability in Health Care and Human Services Programs, published on September 7, 2023

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