HHS Announces Stronger Protections for Those with Disabilities

Home Care Insider

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule that would update, clarify, and strengthen the statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance or are conducted by a Federal agency.

The proposed rule provides greater protections for people with disabilities in federally funded health and human services programs and helps ensure that people with disabilities are not subjected to discrimination in any program or activity receiving funding from HHS simply because they have a disability.

Specifically, the proposed rule:

  • Ensures that medical treatment decisions are not based on biases or stereotypes about individuals with disabilities, judgments that an individual will be a burden on others or beliefs that the life of an individual with a disability has less value than the life of a person without a disability;
  • Clarifies obligations for web, mobile, and kiosk accessibility;
  • Establishes enforceable standards for accessible medical equipment;
  • Clarifies requirements in HHS-funded child welfare programs and activities;
  • Prohibits the use of value assessment methods that place a lower value on life-extension for individuals with disabilities when that method is used to limit access or to deny aids, benefits, and services; and
  • Clarifies obligations to provide services in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.