Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Conscience Rule Postponed

Lilly Hummel

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has postponed the conscience requirements affecting recipients of federal funds, including Medicaid and Medicare dollars. A coalition of states, health care groups, and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit in California claiming the rule is unconstitutional. The rule was scheduled to go into effect later this month. Specific to long term and post acute care providers, this rule affects conscience protections related: to assisted suicide and related counseling; performance of advanced directives; specified programs such as hearing screening, occupational illness testing, vaccination, and mental health treatment; and religious nonmedical health care providers and their patients from certain requirements under Medicare and Medicaid that may burden their exercise of their religious beliefs regarding medical treatment.

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