The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule to fold the United States v. Windsor decision on marriage into the two medical programs it oversees by allowing same-sex spouses to participate in and administer “patient rights and services.”
“Specifically, we propose to revise certain definitions and patient’s rights provisions, in order to ensure that same-sex spouses in legally-valid marriages are recognized and afforded equal rights in Medicare and Medicaid participating facilities,” the final rule says.
This proposed rule would revise regulations governing Medicare and Medicaid participating providers and suppliers by proposing to clarify that, where state law or facility policy provides or allows certain rights or privileges to a patient’s opposite-sex spouse under certain provisions, a patient’s same-sex spouse must be afforded equal treatment if the marriage is valid in the jurisdiction in which it was celebrated.
“These revisions would promote equality and ensure the recognition of the validity of same-sex marriages when administering the patient rights and services at issue,” the CMS announcement read.
The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 12. Comments on the issue are due to the CMS no longer than 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 10, 2015.
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