Civil Rights Clearance for Medicare Provider Applicants
If you are a health care provider seeking initial Medicare Part A certification and/or undergoing a change of ownership (CHOW), you will need a civil rights clearance from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to be certified as a Medicare Part A provider by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To seek a civl rights clearance from OCR, follow the two-part instructions outlined below:
- Go to OCR’s Medicare Pre-grants Certification Portal to submit your application online. The Portal has guidance and sample policies to assist you to easily complete the application. If you cannot complete the application in one sitting, you will be able to save your work and come back later. Once you have completed your application for civil rights clearance via Medicare Pre-grants Certification Portal and hit the “submit” button, you will receive an e-mail confirming submission of your application.
- In addition to submitting an application via Medicare Pre-grants Certification Portal, Medicare Part A providers are required to sign an attestation of their compliance with all applicable civil rights laws enforced by OCR (including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act). This attestation is referred to as an Assurance of Compliance, and it can be found on the HHS website (Form HHS-690). New applicants for Medicare funding and current providers undergoing a change of ownership are responsible for submitting this attestation electronically to OCR via the Assurance of Compliance Portal.
Please note that the former process in which CMS granted providers conditional approvals while OCR processed the provider’s civil rights clearance application are no longer granted or an accepted temporary clearance. After September 1, 2016, OCR will accept only Assurance of Compliance forms and only via the Assurance of Compliance Portal for clearance purposes.
CMS has legal authority under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require health care providers to meet the legal requirements of the civil rights nondiscrimination statutes and regulations enforced by OCR in order to participate in the Medicare Part A program. These statues and regulations ensure that eligible persons have equal access to quality health care regardless of their race, color, national origin, disability, or age. The specific statutes include: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability); and The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age).
For questions about submitting a civil rights clearance, contact OCR.