Press Statement
Biden Administration Strengthens Much Needed Protections Against Discrimination

Statement of Jocelyn Frye, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 1, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a regulation to strengthen protections against discrimination in health care programs and activities. Increased protections will especially support women, particularly women of color, women with low incomes, women with disabilities, and women at the intersection of these identities, who face greater inequities in the health care system.

“This long-awaited rule restores and strengthens essential protections and health care access, including protections to promote health equity, for millions of people, particularly those who have faced persistent disparities and biases in health care settings,” said Jocelyn C. Frye, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “This is a critical step towards addressing health inequities experienced by women of color and women who have been historically marginalized, and face high rates of disrespect and discrimination in health care settings. We are pleased that the administration is taking meaningful action to dismantle racial, ethnic and gender health inequities as part of this regulation. At the same time, more work remains to ensure access to all forms of health care, for all people, free from discrimination.”

Specifically, the new requirements to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will:

  • Restate the scope of Section 1557’s anti-discrimination protections on the basis of race, color, national origin (including language), sex (including factors such as sex stereotypes; sex characteristics, including intersex traits; pregnancy or related conditions; sexual orientation; and gender identity), age, disability, or any combination thereof;
  • Expand the scope of these protections to cover a wider range of programs and services;
  • Explicitly prohibit discrimination in the use of patient care decision support tools (which include artificial intelligence, clinical algorithms and other technologies) and telehealth;
  • Require notice of the availability of language assistance services and auxiliary aids for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP); and
  • Guarantee effective communication and reasonable modifications to policies and procedures for people with disabilities.

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Media Contact:

Miriam Cash

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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