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  • Washington Highlights

    HHS OCR Issues Final Rule to Safeguard Rights of Conscience


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

    On Jan. 11, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a final rule to partially rescind a 2019 rule regarding federal conscience rights protections for health care providers in response to significant questions as to that rule’s legality and provides clarity and awareness to safeguards for the rights of conscience embedded in HHS programs [refer to Washington Highlights, March 10, 2023].

    The final rule encourages, but does not require, entities to post a notice of rights in addition to codifying elements of the OCR’s process for handling complaints. Notably, the final rule includes a severability provision that would preserve portions of the rule if a part is deemed unlawful through litigation.