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Applicability of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

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Applicability of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

In addition to meeting the quality standaxds established under the health insurance legislation, hospitals, extended care facilities, and home health agencies wishing to participate in the Medicare program must be in compliance with title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In its application to Medicare, the Civil Rights Act requires that hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions participating in the program must provide access to their services and facilities without regard to the race, color, or national origin of a patient; that ancillary services and facilities be equally available to all people, and that the staff be recruited and employed in a nondiscriminatory manner. To meet these requirements of law, an institution must engage in no discrimination, separation, orother distinction on the basis of race, color, or national origin in providing services, facilities, or any other activities which influence

the admission, care, or treatment of patients.

Every effort, including enlisting the aid of professional groups and other organizations, has been made by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to secure voluntary compliance of institutions with the civil rights requirements. Almost all of the hospitals and extended care facilities which applied to participate are now in compliance with the civil rights requirements. As of July 31, 1967, approximately 55 hospitals that had been determined to meet the other conditions of participation were not participating because they did not have clearance under title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Roughly 100 additional hospitals that probably could meet Medicare standards had not applied for participation due to the civil rights requirements. By June 30, 1967, fewer than 20 extended care facilities that had submitted complete applications to participate were not participating in the program because of failure to comply with the civil rights requirements. Eighty additional facilities had not yet submitted all of the information asked of applying institutions, so that determinations of their civil rights status were still pending.

A number of extended care facilities meeting the conditions of participation have not applied for various reasons. In some cases, they are filled and have long waiting lists of patients seeking admission so that there is little inducement for them to participate if they think reimbursement under Medicare is more restrictive than the reimbursement they might otherwise obtain. And, of course, still other potentially eligible extended care facilities have not applied because of reservations about the civil rights requirements. Because there are such varied reasons for extended care facilities not having applied for participation in the program, it is difficult to determine what effect the civil rights requirements

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