HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Fight Discrimination in Health Care

September 20, 2022 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

“This proposed rule ensures that people nationwide can access healthcare free from discrimination,” Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary, said (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/07/25/hhs-announces-proposed-rule-to-strengthen-nondiscrimination-in-health-care.html). “Standing with communities in need is critical, particularly given increased attacks on women, trans youth, and healthcare providers. Health care should be a right not dependent on looks, location, love, language, or the type of care someone needs.”

“Strengthening Section 1557 supports our ongoing efforts to provide high-quality, affordable health care and to drive health equity for all people served by our programs,” Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, said (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/07/25/hhs-announces-proposed-rule-to-strengthen-nondiscrimination-in-health-care.html). “This work will help eliminate avoidable differences in health outcomes experienced by those who are underserved and provide the care and support that people need to thrive."

Taking action to end discrimination in health care (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/oncology-navigation-standards-help-patients-overcome-disparities-and-barriers-to) helps advance care provision, especially for those in special populations (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/special-populations). When it comes to patients with cancer, lack of access to essential health care (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/access-quality-cancer) can affect outcomes, and oncology nurses can help advocate for patients’ rights to timely, quality care.

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