Monday, March 10, 2014

Hearing on H.R. 3633 and OFCCP Issue

AHCA/NCAL supports Rep. Tim Walberg’s legislation, Protecting Health Care Providers from Increased Administrative Burdens Act (H.R. 3633). This legislation clarifies that certain recipients of payments from the Federal Government related to the delivery of health care services to individuals shall not be treated as Federal contractors by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) based on the work performed or actions taken by such individuals that resulted in the receipt of such payments. AHCA/NCAL believes it is important to advocate against any further expansion of the U.S. Department of Labor’s OFCCP’s jurisdiction. Implementation costs for initial compliance with OFCCP’s requirements could range from as much as $10K upfront; and subsequent compliance could add an additional $5K annually.

OFCCP enforces the affirmative action and equal employment opportunity requirements that are written into the federal government’s agreements with government contractors or subcontractors. Medicare Parts A and B, as well as Medicaid, are considered insurance reimbursement agreements, and are outside the scope of OFCCP jurisdiction. Participants in Medicare Parts C (Medicare Advantage) and D, the Military Health Care System (TRICARE) and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP); may be considered federal contractors or subcontractors subject to OFCCP enforcement. Participants with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) are subject to OFCCP enforcement. For the last several years, AHCA staff have worked tirelessly in negotiations with VA to make available nationwide a new VA/Civilian nursing facility contract vehicle, known as an “agreement,” that would excuse NF providers from most of the OFCCP requirements, and replace the current VA contracts. AHCA is currently awaiting the final rule.

AHCA/NCAL remains concerned about the lack of clarity regarding OFCCP jurisdiction for Medicare Parts C and D, TRICARE and FEHBP. Given the recent developments in Florida Hospital and UPMC Braddock, health care providers with agreements under Medicare Parts C and D, TRICARE and FEHBP have to think about and anticipate how/when OFCCP will begin to take a more aggressive stance in asserting its jurisdiction. AHCA/NCAL has already begun to reach out to other national associations with similar concerns, to work together to stop OFCCP jurisdiction expansion. We are in communication with the American Hospital Association (AHA), who participated in the litigation on this matter, and who have already also formally supported H.R. 3633. We have shared the letter from AHCA/NCAL’s President & CEO, Mark Parkinson, with Rep. Walberg’s office formally endorsing H.R. 3633. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections plans to hold a hearing on March 13 on H.R. 3633, and they will introduce our letter of support for the Congressional hearing record.

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