Effective July 5: HHS Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule, “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” which advances protections against discrimination in health care. The purpose of the rule is to restore protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. The rule also aims to reduce language access barriers, expands physical and digital accessibility, and tackles bias in health technology.

This rule applies to any health program or activity receiving federal funds from HHS, any program or activity administered under Title I of the Affordable Care Act, and health insurance marketplace participants that have received federal financial assistance. This means that nursing homes, ID/DD providers, and Medicare Advantage plans are subject to this Final Rule. Assisted living communities could also be subject to the rule if they receive Federal financial assistance (e.g., through a Medicaid waiver program).

The final rule closely follows the proposed rule issued in July 2022 and, in many ways, reverses the Section 1557 rule issued by the Trump Administration in June 2020, which was a significant departure from the Obama Administration’s original Section 1557 rule issued in 2016. It is effective beginning July 5, 2024.


AHCA/NCAL has developed a member summary that highlights the impacts on long term care providers. Please note that a member log-in is required to view the summary.


HHS has also produced a section 1557 regulation FAQ page.

Posted in Regulatory