Today, OFCCP published the final rule, “Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: TRICARE Providers” in the Federal Register. The deregulatory changes will improve access to healthcare for veterans and their families, reduce regulatory costs, and allocate the agency’s limited resources more efficiently.
Key provisions of the final rule:
Removed TRICARE providers from OFCCP’s authority because the agency determined that it lacks authority to regulate healthcare providers solely because they participate in TRICARE, which is the health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families.
In the alternative, establishes a national interest exemption for TRICARE providers from the obligations in Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.
No changes were made regarding the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Benefit Provider (VAHBP) agreements. However, OFCCP plans to issue guidance on FEHBP providers and VAHBPs. VAHBP agreements will remain under the moratorium in OFCCP Directive 2018-02.
The final rule makes no changes regarding the obligations of TRICARE providers who have other federal contracts and subcontracts that meet the jurisdiction thresholds in OFCCP’s laws and regulations. It also does not change the applicability of other applicable federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination and providing for equal employment opportunity.