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    Biden Administration Issues Final Rule on Partnerships with Faith-based and Neighborhood Organizations 

    Phoebe Ramsey, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    On March 4, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Education (DOE), together with other Departments that partner with faith-based and neighborhood organizations to deliver social services, published a final rule to amend regulations to clarify protections for beneficiaries of federally funded social services and the rights and obligations of organizations providing such services. The rule follows the Feb. 2021 Executive Order reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The revised federal regulations are intended to promote greater access to services by beneficiaries and participation by organizations, while also ensuring greater consistency in the implementation of these programs and activities across government.  

      Specifically, the rule reestablishes a requirement that social services providers within the US notify beneficiaries of their right to be free from discrimination on the basis of religion, makes clear that all covered social services programs may not discriminate against beneficiaries on the basis of their religion, and encourages government agencies that fund domestic programs to help beneficiaries identify alternative federally funded service providers in their area, including providers that are more compatible with their beliefs.