A few weeks ago, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) extended its compliance audit moratorium on so-called TRICARE providers until May 2021. According to OFCCP, the extension was announced because the agency had “determined that it would be beneficial to the national interest and the health of veterans and their families to extend the moratorium to provide additional time to receive feedback from stakeholders.”

The issue of whether OFCCP has jurisdiction over hospitals and other health care providers that have no direct contractual relationship with the federal government, but which provide services to TRICARE and other federal health insurance program beneficiaries, has been a highly contentious one for years. Despite efforts by Congress to exempt these providers from OFCCP coverage, the agency has managed to find a way to assert jurisdiction. Indeed, the five-year audit moratorium was initially announced in 2014 when it became clear that Congress was prepared to settle the issue once and for all.

Now, language contained in a veterans health care bill approved recently by Congress and signed by President Trump on June 6 appears to do just that. The language would remove TRICARE contractors from the agency’s jurisdiction entirely (although an organization holding some other qualifying federal contract or subcontract would still be subject to OFCCP jurisdiction), and explicitly applies to TRICARE prime contractors in addition to subcontractors.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.