Many health care organizations historically have not been subject to federal affirmative action compliance requirements because they did not have federal contracts or subcontracts. The emerging case law, and in particular a decision issued in mid October, indicates that these requirements may be extended to more health care organizations than ever before, including specifically those who are TRICARE network providers. These organizations may want to consider developing affirmative action programs and the systems and analyses that support them.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the agency that enforces federal affirmative action requirements, has been interested in expanding the scope of its jurisdiction over health care providers for some time. In a highly anticipated decision issued on October 18, 2010, an Administrative Law Judge held that a Florida hospital is a federal subcontractor by virtue of its participation in a health care provider network administered by Humana Military Healthcare Services, Inc. (“HMHS”) for TRICARE, the Department of Defense’s health care program for active and retired military members and their families. OFCCP v. Fla. Hosp. of Orlando, DOL OALJ No. 2009-OFC-00002 (10/18/10).
If the ALJ’s decision is upheld on appeal, it will trigger a number of obligations for health care providers because federal contractors and subcontractors must comply with affirmative action regulations under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), unless an exemption applies. These obligations include developing affirmative action programs (AAPs); conducting outreach to recruit qualified minorities, women, covered veterans, and individuals with disabilities; posting jobs with state employment services; filing annual VETS-100A reports; applicant tracking by race and gender; analysis of hiring, promotions and terminations for adverse impact by race and gender; and pay equity analysis by race and gender. These obligations also may apply to health care providers under networks other than TRICARE, such as networks that provide care to federal employees.
Join us on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 for the informative webinar OFCCP Jurisdiction Over Health Care Providers to learn about the implications of the Florida Hospital of Orlando decision, how it may expand the scope of OFCCP jurisdiction, what health care providers can expect from OFCCP, and how best to become prepared.
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