[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 191 (Wednesday, October 4, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 46181]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21419]



[[Page 46181]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

[CMS-3302-WN]

42 CFR Part 416, 418, 482, 483, and 485


Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Revisions to Certain Patient's 
Rights Conditions for Participation and Conditions for Coverage; 
Withdrawal

AGENCY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION: Withdrawal of proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This document withdraws a proposed rule that was published in 
the Federal Register on December 12, 2014. This proposed rule would 
revise the applicable conditions of participation for certain 
providers, conditions for coverage for certain suppliers, and 
requirements for long-term care facilities, to ensure that the 
requirements are consistent with the Supreme Court decision in United 
States v. Windsor (570 U.S.12, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013)), and HHS policy. 
Specifically, it proposed to revise certain definitions and patient's 
rights provisions that currently defer to state law, in order to ensure 
that same-sex spouses are recognized and afforded equal rights in 
certain Medicare and Medicaid-participating facilities.

DATES: As of October 4, 2017, the proposed rule published December 12, 
2014, at 79 FR 73873, is withdrawn.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronisha Blackstone, 410-786-6882.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 12, 2014, we published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register entitled, ``Medicare and Medicaid 
Program; Revisions to Certain Patient's Rights Conditions of 
Participation and Conditions for Coverage'' (79 FR 73873). In United 
States v. Windsor, 570 U.S.12, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the Supreme 
Court held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was 
unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment (See Windsor, 
133 S. Ct. 2675, 2695). Section 3 of DOMA provided that in determining 
the meaning of any Act of the Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, 
or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of 
the United States, the word ``marriage'' meant only a legal union 
between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 
``spouse'' could refer only to a person of the opposite sex who was a 
husband or a wife (1 U.S.C. 7). Following the Supreme Court's opinion 
in Windsor, the Federal government was permitted to recognize the 
validity of same-sex marriages when administering Federal statutes and 
programs.
    The December 2014 rulemaking proposed to revise certain conditions 
of participation (CoPs), conditions for coverage (CfCs), and 
requirements for certain Medicare- and Medicaid-participating 
facilities to ensure that the requirements at issue were consistent 
with the Windsor decision. We received 97 public comments in response 
to the December 2014 proposed rule. Following publication of the 
proposed rule, on June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, (135 S. Ct. 
2584 (2015)), the Supreme Court held that the Due Process and Equal 
Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to 
license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize 
same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other States. In light of the 
Obergefell decision, we have decided to withdraw the December 2014 
proposed rule. We believe that the Obergefell decision has addressed 
many of the concerns raised in the December 2014 proposed rule.
    Accordingly, the proposed rule published December 12, 2014, at 79 
FR 73873, is withdrawn.

    Dated: August 24, 2017.
Seema Verma,
Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    Approved: September 7, 2017.
Thomas E. Price,
Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
[FR Doc. 2017-21419 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4120-01-P