The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights Friday issued a final rule clarifying the standards the agency applies in implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, Health Insurance Marketplaces and other qualified health and wellness plans. As requested by AHA, the final rule clarifies that science should drive clinical care decisions, and that as a result, there may be differences in treatments to different individuals based on their own risks for certain health events. Among other changes, the final rule requires covered entities to post public and website notices indicating the availability of communication assistance in the top 15 languages spoken by limited English proficient populations statewide, rather than nationally as in the proposed rule. The rule generally takes effect July 18, with some health insurance provisions effective the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017. For more information, visit