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For Providers of Health Care and Social Services

On this page, you will find:

Civil Rights Obligations of Covered Entities

Nondiscrimination laws enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) prohibit discrimination and require covered entities to provide individuals an equal opportunity to participate in a program activity, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or (under certain conditions) religion or sex.

What is a Covered Entity?

A Covered Entity is any entity that receives federal financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services or is covered under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act as a program, service, or regulatory activity relating to the provision of health care or social services.

How do you know if you are not a Covered Entity under OCR jurisdiction in its enforcement of nondiscrimination laws?

If you receive some type of federal financial assistance from another federal department or agency but it does not include any HHS assistance, you are not a covered entity under OCR’s jurisdiction. You may also not be such a Covered Entity if you are a health care professional who accepts only Medicare Part B insurance payment. You may be subject to another Federal Civil Rights Agency nondiscrimination laws as they apply to your program or services. Follow this link to learn more about Federal Civil Rights enforcement agencies.

You may also want to review OCR's Compliance and Enforcement page and the Regulations and Nondiscrimination Laws enforced by OCR .

OCR Resources to Assist State and Local Agencies Comply with Civil Rights Laws:


Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013
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