FW: Letter to State Medicaid Directors

Thomas Cagle (nh-adapt@juno.com)
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 07:48:08 -0400


--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Stephanie Thomas" <adapt@adapt.org>
Subject: FW: Letter to State Medicaid Directors
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 10:06:29 -0500



Here is the letter to state Medicaid directors and the Policy Statement
on
most integrated setting requirement of the Americans with Disabilities
Act.
This letter is the result of ADAPT's advocacy with the US Department of
Health and Human Services, the Health Care Financing Administration
(HCFA)and the US Department of Justice.  It explains the State's
obligation
not to needlessly segregate people with disabilities in certain types of
services and programs, like nursing homes and ICFs-MR.

This letter can be found at http:hcfa.gov/medicaid/smd8398.htm

August 3, 1998

Dear State Medicaid Director:

Enclosed is the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Civil
Rights Compliance Policy Statement which expresses our Agency's
commitment to ensuring that there is no discrimination in the delivery of
health care services through HCFA programs.

We have committed ourselves to full compliance with the requirements
contained in this policy statement. As our partner with the
administration of the Medicaid program you likewise are obligated to
comply with those statutory civil rights laws. As stipulated in the
policy statement, these laws include: Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended;
the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended; and Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972. The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of
Health and Human Services has previously advised HCFA that detailed
implementation regulations for the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
amended, are located at 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 85.

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, the Administrator of HCFA, has asked that I
share this policy statement with you and that you do likewise with
health care providers and all others involved in the administration of
HCFA
programs. Equal access to the health care services provided for persons
eligible for HCFA-funded programs, including Medicaid and the Children's
Health Insurance Program, is fundamental to our success.  Thank you for
your
cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,
/s/
Sally K. Richardson
Director

Enclosure

cc:
All HCFA Regional Administrators
All HCFA Associate Regional Administrators for Medicaid and State
Operations Lee Partridge American Public Human Services Association
Joy Wilson National Conference of State Legislatures Jennifer
Baxendell National Governors Association National Alliance of State
and Territorial AIDS Directors Association of State and Territorial
Health Officers



    HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION (HCFA) CIVIL
             RIGHTS COMPLIANCE POLICY STATEMENT

The Health Care Financing Administration's vision in the current
Strategic Plan guarantees that all our beneficiaries have equal access to
the best health care. Pivotal to guaranteeing equal access is the
integration of compliance with civil rights laws into the fabric of all
HCFA
program operations and activities. I want to emphasize my personal
commitment to and responsibility for ensuring compliance with civil
rights
laws by recipients of HCFA funds. These laws include:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as amended;
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended;
the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended;
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended;
and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
as well as other related laws.

The responsibility for ensuring compliance with these laws is
shared by all HCFA operating components. Promoting attention to and
ensuring HCFA program compliance with civil rights laws are among my
highest priorities for HCFA, its employees, contractors, State
agencies, health care providers, and all other partners directly
involved in the administration of HCFA programs.

HCFA, as the agency legislatively charged with administering the
Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, is
thereby charged with ensuring these programs do not engage in
discriminatory actions on the basis of race, color, national origin,
age, sex or disability. HCFA will, with your help continue to ensure
that persons are not excluded from participation in or denied the
benefits of its programs because of prohibited discrimination.

To achieve its civil rights goals, HCFA will continue to incorporate
civil rights concerns into the culture of our agency and its programs,
and
we ask that all our partners do the same. We will include civil rights
concerns in the regular program review and audit activities including:
collecting data on access to, and the participation of, minority and
disabled persons in our programs; furnishing information to recipients
and
contractors about civil rights compliance; reviewing HCFA publications,
program regulations, and instructions to assure support for civil rights;
and working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS),
Office of Civil Rights, to initiate orientation and training programs on
civil rights. HCFA will also allocate financial resources to the extent
feasible to: ensure equal access; prevent discrimination; and assist in
the
remedy of past acts adversely affecting persons on the basis of race,
color,
national origin, age, sex, or disability.

DHHS will seek voluntary compliance to resolve issues of
discrimination whenever possible. If necessary, HCFA will refer
matters to the Office for Civil Rights for appropriate handling. In
order to enforce civil rights laws, the Office for Civil Rights may:
1) refer matters for an administrative hearing which could lead to
suspending, terminating, or refusing to grant or continue Federal
financial assistance; or 2) refer the matter to the Department of
Justice for legal action.

HCFA's mission is to assure health care security for the diverse
population that constitutes our nation's Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries; i.e., our customers. We will enhance our communication
with
constituents, partners, and stakeholders. We will seek input from health
care providers, states, contractors, the DHHS Office for Civil Rights,
professional organizations, community advocates, and program
beneficiaries.
We will continue to vigorously assure that all Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries have equal access to and receive the best health care
possible
regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle



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Last updated August 4, 1998