The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a Final Rule formally disavowing any jurisdiction over certain health care entities that provide supplies and services to participants in TRICARE, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) medical insurance and benefit program.

The Final Rule marks an end to a long and contentious legal fight between OFCCP and those organizations whose only relationship with the federal government is participation in the DOD program, with OFCCP ultimately concluding that it “lacks authority over Federal health care providers who participate in TRICARE.” Lest there be any doubt as to OFCCP’s determination, the Final Rule also invokes a “national interest exemption” shielding TRICARE providers from enforcement of the three laws that OFCCP enforces.

From a practical perspective, the Final Rule will have little impact on the day-to-day compliance obligations for most federal contractors as it exempts those whose only contractual relationship with the government is participation in TRICARE. Apart from TRICARE, many healthcare providers have additional contracts that will continue to subject them to OFCCP jurisdiction.

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