Regents Policy 4405: Policy on Affiliations with Healthcare Organizations that Have Adopted Policy-Based Restrictions on Care

Approved July 22, 2021

POLICY TEXT

  1. Advancing the University's Public Mission. Prior to approving or executing any new or renewed affiliation with a health organization that has adopted policy-based restrictions on care (a "covered organization"), the sponsoring location must: (i) document the rationale for the affiliation, including any anticipated benefits or risks to the University's education, research, and service missions and to the broader patient community; and (ii) verify that access to policy-restricted services such as abortions, contraception, assisted reproductive technologies, gender-affirming care, and end of life care will be maintained or improved as a result of the affiliation. Under no circumstances may such an organization be granted responsibility or authority to operate or manage any University facility or program on behalf of the University. 
  2. Documenting Adherence to University Policies and Standards in all Affiliation Agreements. Agreements with covered health organizations must recite the University's role as a public entity and commitment to non-discrimination and evidence-based care; and must require all parties to comply with all federal and state anti-discrimination laws, including Cal. Civ. Code § 51 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex [including pregnancy and childbirth as well as gender, gender identity, and gender expression], race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status), and to offer any procedure or service they choose to provide at their respective facilities or through their respective employees on a non-discriminatory basis. The University may not enter agreements with provisions that purport to require the University or its personnel or trainees to enforce or abide by policy-based restrictions on care including, but not limited to, religious directives, or that include any "gag clauses" interfering with their ability to counsel all patients on their treatment options. The University must retain the option to terminate such agreements if the University determines in its sole discretion that continued performance would be incompatible with its policies or values or that the affiliate has breached its promises to not restrict University providers' freedom to advise, refer, prescribe, or provide emergency items and services without restrictions, including any necessary items and services to any patient for whom referral or transfer to another facility would risk material deterioration to the patient's condition.
  3. Strengthening Patient and Provider Protections. Each University location contracting with healthcare organizations that have adopted policy-based restrictions on care must develop and implement a process to inform UC patients, faculty, staff, and trainees: (i) about such restrictions at sites to which they may be referred or assigned; (ii) that such referrals or assignments are voluntary; and (iii) and that information about alternative sites for care, practice, and training will be provided upon request. Each location must also develop a process to transfer patients who need restricted services to a UC or other location where the services can be provided. Processes for receiving, evaluating, and resolving complaints or grievances must also be developed and implemented.
  4. Ensuring Reporting and Transparency. Each University location (including the Office of the President with respect to systemwide or multi-campus agreements) must provide an annual report to the Regents Health Services Committee: (i) listing all new or renewed arrangements with covered organizations; (ii) summarizing complaints or grievances received from patients, students, faculty, and staff, as well as their resolution; (iii) providing quality monitoring data consistent with systemwide quality guidelines; and (iv) reporting on any identified noncompliance with the above standards. The first report, due in June 2022, must list all current arrangements with such institutions.
  5. Implementation and Accountability. The President shall issue a systemwide policy to implement these requirements after consultation with the chancellors and representatives of the Academic Senate and UC Health. One year after implementation of that policy, the Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Audit Services shall conduct an audit of an appropriate sample of then-current contracts with covered affiliates to ensure their compliance with such policy. Thereafter, the frequency and scope of audits shall be determined by ECAS in consultation with the chairs of the Audit & Compliance Committee and the Health Services Committee. The University shall not enter into any new affiliation that fails to meet these requirements after July 1, 2021; any existing affiliation that does not meet these requirements must be amended to comply with this policy or phased out no later than December 31, 2023.

NO RIGHT OF ACTION

This policy is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the University of California or its Board of Regents, individual Regents, officers, employees, or agents.

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