While its been quite some time since we’ve discussed the issue, it seems we have occasion again to revisit the age-old, yet unresolved, question of whether healthcare providers are covered by federal affirmative action laws and regulations. The answer to that question has been an ongoing saga in Congress and the courts. The recent history of this topic can be found here and here.

Currently, healthcare providers which have only TRICARE subcontracts as a possible basis for federal contractor status are enjoying a five-year moratorium from OFCCP enforcement of affirmative action laws. That moratorium will expire in May 2019.

A recent amendment to Senate Bill 425 would go further. If passed, the Bill would exempt certain healthcare provider contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs from coverage under all federal affirmative action laws. Such an exemption would likely have a significant impact on many healthcare providers. As the Bill is just in its infancy, we will be tracking its progress and any significant developments so check back for updates.