The Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to delay implementing its final rule concerning certain statutory conscience rights in health care, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced Friday. Released in May and originally scheduled to take effect July 22, the final rule replaces a 2011 rule and, among other things, spells out in detail how HHS' Office for Civil Rights intends to proceed to ensure compliance, including initiating compliance reviews, receiving complaints, conducting investigations, and, in coordination with the relevant component of HHS that oversees the program to which federal funding or administration is attached, taking enforcement action. Herrera, who was seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the rule from taking effect, said the federal government has agreed to a court order preventing it from implementing the rule until at least Nov. 22.

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