HHS takes steps to strengthen access to reproductive health care, including abortion care

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HHS takes steps to strengthen access to reproductive health care, including abortion care

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HHS takes steps to strengthen access to reproductive health care, including abortion care

Invites states to apply for Medicaid waivers to increase access to care for women from states where reproductive rights are under attack

Today, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took action to continue its work to improve and strengthen access to reproductive health care, including safe abortion care and legal. Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure issued a letter to U.S. Governors inviting them to work with CMS and apply for Medicaid 1115 waivers to provide a increased access to care for women in states where reproductive rights are under attack and women may be denied health care. The letter also underscored that current or proposed abortion restriction laws do not negate providers’ responsibilities to comply with federal laws that protect access to emergency medical care. Also today, HHS issued a report and action plan in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision. Both actions further support the will of President Biden Executive Decree 14076, Protection of access to reproductive health careY Executive Decree 14079, Guarantee access to reproductive health care.

“Since the Supreme Court decision in dobbs, we have seen heartbreaking stories of women suffering and not getting the care they need due to recently enacted laws restricting abortion care. We have also seen state legislatures try to mislead women by saying they are protecting patients while making it a crime to provide abortion services. At my request and under the direction of President Biden, HHS has taken and will continue to take concrete steps, such as today’s invitation to states, that will protect women’s access to reproductive care, including abortion,” said Secretary HHS, Becerra.

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“With today’s guidance, we encourage states interested in developing approaches that use federal funds, including Medicaid funds under the section 1115 demonstration authority, to engage with us to expand access to care. . States interested in federal Medicaid funding are encouraged to expand access to care within the scope of Medicaid statutory authority for women traveling from a state that has restricted or prohibited abortion to participate with the Centers. of Medicare and Medicaid Services,” said Brooks-LaSure, CMS administrator. .

The letter comes just days after a federal court granted a preliminary injunction restricting and directing the state of Idaho to enforce Idaho’s anti-abortion law in situations where abortion is necessary stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. . Earlier this month, the US government filed a lawsuit alleging that Idaho’s anti-abortion law, which went into effect this week, directly conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). ) in those situations. Last month, HHS issued guide affirming EMTALA’s requirements, and Secretary Becerra sent a letter – PDF reminding providers of their obligations to provide access to abortion in emergency situations.

Read today’s letter to Governors in its entirety – PDF.*

HHS today also released a report the agency prepared for the president on HHS actions to date to ensure access to reproductive health care following the Supreme Court ruling, with more details on the actions and future commitments. Read the report “Secretary’s Report: Health Care Under Attack: An Action Plan to Protect and Strengthen Reproductive Care – PDF.”* Below is a summary of the actions included in the Secretary’s message of the report:

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Protection of emergency medical care: HHS issued guide – PDF and a letter from Secretary Becerra – PDF to reaffirm that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA, also known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act) protects providers when they offer life-saving or health-saving legally mandated abortion services as stabilizing care for emergency medical conditions.

Safeguarding Health Information and Rights of Patients and Providers: HHS launched ReproductiveRights.gov public awareness website, which includes accurate reproductive health information, including a Know Your Rights patient fact sheet to help patients and providers.

Protecting Patients and Providers Against Discrimination:

  • HHS issued a proposed rule that would strengthen regulations interpreting the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reinforce that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination based on pregnancy or related conditions.
  • HHS issued orientation to approximately 60,000 US retail pharmacies, clarifying their obligations under federal civil rights laws.

Protection of patient privacy: HHS issued orientation that clarifies for patients and providers the extent to which federal laws and regulations protect individuals’ private medical information when seeking abortion and other forms of reproductive health care, as well as when using smartphone applications.

Supporting quality reproductive health care: HHS announced nearly $3 million in new funds to bolster training and technical assistance for the national network of Title X family planning providers.

Protection of access to birth control:

*This content is under Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please send a request to [email protected] Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

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