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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of November 25, 2014

Title 42Chapter ISubchapter D → Part 54a


Title 42: Public Health


PART 54a—CHARITABLE CHOICE REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO STATES, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVING DISCRETIONARY FUNDING UNDER TITLE V OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT, 42 U.S.C. 290aa, et seq., FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT SERVICES


Contents
§54a.1   Scope.
§54a.2   Definitions.
§54a.3   Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
§54a.4   Religious activities.
§54a.5   Religious character and independence.
§54a.6   Employment practices.
§54a.7   Nondiscrimination requirement.
§54a.8   Right to services from an alternative provider.
§54a.9   Oversight of the Charitable Choice requirements.
§54a.10   Fiscal accountability.
§54a.11   Effect on State and local funds.
§54a.12   Treatment of intermediate organizations.
§54a.13   Educational requirements for personnel in drug treatment programs.
§54a.14   Determination of nonprofit status.
Appendix to Part 54a—Model Notice of Individuals Receiving Substance Abuse Services

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 300x-65, and 42 U.S.C. 290kk, et seq., 42 U.S.C. 290aa, et seq.

Source: 68 FR 56446, Sept. 30, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

§54a.1   Scope.

These provisions apply only to funds provided directly to pay for substance abuse prevention and treatment services under Title V of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 290aa, et seq., which are administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This part does not apply to direct funding under any such authorities for only mental health services or for certain infrastructure and technical assistance activities, such as cooperative agreements for technical assistance centers, that do not provide substance abuse services to clients. This part implements the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 300x-65 and 42 U.S.C. 290kk, et seq.

§54a.2   Definitions.

(a) Applicable program means the programs authorized under Title V of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 290aa, et seq., for the provision of substance abuse prevention and or treatment services.

(b) Religious organization means a nonprofit religious organization.

(c) Program beneficiary means an individual who receives substance abuse services under a program funded in whole or in part by applicable programs.

(d) Program participant means a public or private entity that has received financial assistance under an applicable program.

(e) SAMHSA means the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

(f) SAMHSA Charitable Choice provisions means the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 300x-65 and 42 U.S.C. 290kk, et seq.

(g) Direct funding or Funds provided directly means funding that is provided to an organization directly by a governmental entity or intermediate organization that has the same duties under this part as a governmental entity, as opposed to funding that an organization receives as the result of the genuine and independent private choice of a beneficiary through a voucher, certificate, coupon, or other similar mechanism.

§54a.3   Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.

(a) Religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other organization, to participate in applicable programs as long as their services are provided consistent with the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Except as provided herein or in the SAMHSA Charitable Choice provisions, nothing in these regulations shall restrict the ability of the Federal government, or a State or local government, from applying to religious organizations the same eligibility conditions in applicable programs as are applied to any other nonprofit private organization.

(b) Neither the Federal government nor a State or local government receiving funds under these programs shall discriminate against an organization that is, or applies to be, a program participant on the basis of the organization's religious character or affiliation.

§54a.4   Religious activities.

No funds provided directly from SAMHSA or the relevant State or local government to organizations participating in applicable programs may be expended for inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. If an organization conducts such activities, it must offer them separately, in time or location, from the programs or services for which it receives funds directly from SAMHSA or the relevant State or local government under any applicable program, and participation must be voluntary for the program beneficiaries.

§54a.5   Religious character and independence.

A religious organization that participates in an applicable program will retain its independence from Federal, State, and local governments and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice and expression of its religious beliefs. The organization may not expend funds that it receives directly from SAMHSA or the relevant State or local government to support any inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. Among other things, faith-based organizations may use space in their facilities to provide services supported by applicable programs, without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other symbols. In addition, a SAMHSA-funded religious organization retains the authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents.

§54a.6   Employment practices.

(a) The participation of a religious organization in or its receipt of funds from an applicable program does not affect that organization's exemption provided under 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1 regarding employment practices.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify or affect any State law or regulation that relates to discrimination in employment.

§54a.7   Nondiscrimination requirement.

A religious organization that is a program participant shall not, in providing program services or engaging in outreach activities under applicable programs, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.

§54a.8   Right to services from an alternative provider.

(a) General requirements. If an otherwise eligible program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary objects to the religious character of a program participant, within a reasonable period of time after the date of such objection, such program beneficiary shall have rights to notice, referral, and alternative services, as outlined in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section. With respect to SAMHSA discretionary programs, for purposes of determining what is the appropriate Federal, State, or local government, the following principle shall apply: When SAMHSA provides funding directly to another unit of government, such as a State or local government, that unit of government is responsible for providing the alternative services. When SAMHSA provides discretionary grant funding directly to a nongovernmental organization, SAMHSA is the responsible unit of government.

(b) Notice. Program participants that refer an individual to alternative providers, and the appropriate Federal, State, or local governments that administer the applicable programs, shall ensure that notice of the individual's rights to services from an alternative provider is provided to all program beneficiaries or prospective beneficiaries. The notice must clearly articulate the program beneficiary's right to a referral and to services that reasonably meet the requirements of timeliness, capacity, accessibility, and equivalency as discussed in this section. A model notice is set out in appendix A to this part.

(c) Referral to services from an alternative provider. If a program beneficiary or a prospective program beneficiary objects to the religious character of a program participant that is a religious organization, that participating religious organization shall, within a reasonable time after the date of such objection, refer such individual to an alternative provider.

(1) When the State or local government is the responsible unit of government, the State shall have a system in place to ensure that such referrals are made. That system shall ensure that the following occurs:

(i) The religious organization that is a program participant shall, within a reasonable time after the date of such objection, refer the beneficiary to an alternative provider;

(ii) In making such referral, the religious organization shall consider any list that the State or local government makes available to entities in the geographic area that provide program services, which may include utilizing any treatment locator system developed by SAMHSA;

(iii) All referrals are to be made in a manner consistent with all applicable confidentiality laws, including, but not limited to, 42 CFR part 2 (“Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records”);

(iv) Upon referring a program beneficiary to an alternative provider, the religious organization shall notify the responsible unit of government of such referral; and

(v) The religious organization shall ensure that the program beneficiary makes contact with the alternative provider to which he or she is referred.

(2) When SAMHSA is the responsible unit of government, the referral process is as follows:

(i) When a program beneficiary requests alternative services, the religious organization will seek to make such a referral.

(ii) If the religious organization cannot locate an appropriate provider of alternative services, the religious organization will contact SAMHSA. They will work together to identify additional alternative providers, utilizing the SAMHSA Treatment Locator system, if appropriate.

(iii) The religious organization will contact these alternative providers and seek to make the referral, in a manner consistent with all applicable confidentiality laws, including, but not limited to, 42 CFR part 2 (“Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records”).

(iv) In the event the religious organization is still unable to locate an alternative provider, it may again contact SAMHSA for assistance.

(d) Referral reporting procedures. The program participant shall notify the appropriate Federal, State or local government agency that administers the program of such referral. If a State or local government is the responsible unit of government, it may determine its own reporting procedures. When SAMHSA is the responsible unit of government, this notification will occur during the course of the regular reports that may be required under the terms of the funding award.

(e) Provision and funding of alternative services. The responsible unit of government, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, shall provide to an otherwise eligible program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary who objects to the religious character of a program participant, services and fund services from an alternative provider that is reasonably accessible to, and has the capacity to provide such services to the individual. Such services shall have a value that is not less than the value of the services that the individual would have received from the program participant to which the individual had such objection. The appropriate State or local governments that administer SAMHSA-funded programs shall ensure that notice of their right to alternative services is provided to applicants or recipients. The alternative provider need not be a secular organization. It must simply be a provider to which the program beneficiary has no religious objection.

(1) When the State receives a discretionary grant from SAMHSA, it shall utilize its own implementation procedures for these provisions and shall use funds from the SAMHSA discretionary grant to finance such alternative services, as needed;

(2) When the local government receives a discretionary grant from SAMHSA, it shall utilize State implementation procedures for these provisions and shall use funds from the SAMHSA discretionary grant to finance such alternative services, as needed;

(3) When a religious organization receives a discretionary grant from SAMHSA, if a publicly funded alternative provider is available that is reasonably accessible and can provide equivalent services, the religious organization shall refer the beneficiary to that provider. However, if such a provider is not available, the religious organization shall contract with an alternative provider to provide such services and may finance such services with funds from the SAMHSA discretionary grant.

§54a.9   Oversight of the Charitable Choice requirements.

In order to ensure that program funds are used in compliance with the SAMHSA Charitable Choice provisions, applicants for funds under applicable programs are required, as part of their applications for funding, to certify that they will comply with all of the requirements of the SAMHSA Charitable Choice provisions and the implementing regulations under this part.

§54a.10   Fiscal accountability.

(a) Religious organizations that receive applicable program funds for substance abuse services are subject to the same regulations as other nongovernmental organizations to account, in accordance with generally accepted auditing and accounting principles, for the use of such funds.

(b) Religious organizations shall segregate Federal funds they receive under applicable programs into a separate account from non-Federal funds. Only the Federal funds shall be subject to audit by the government under the SAMHSA program.

§54a.11   Effect on State and local funds.

If a State or local government contributes its own funds to supplement activities carried out under the applicable programs, the State or local government has the option to separate out the Federal funds or commingle them. If the funds are commingled, the provisions of this part shall apply to all of the commingled funds, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as the provisions apply to the Federal funds.

§54a.12   Treatment of intermediate organizations.

If a nongovernmental organization (referred to here as an “intermediate organization”), acting under a contract or other agreement with the Federal Government or a State or local government, is given the authority under the contract or agreement to select nongovernmental organizations to provide services under any applicable program, the intermediate organization shall have the same duties under this part as the government. The intermediate organization retains all other rights of a nongovernmental organization under this part and the SAMHSA Charitable Choice provisions.

§54a.13   Educational requirements for personnel in drug treatment programs.

In determining whether personnel of a program participant that has a record of successful drug treatment for the preceding three years have satisfied State or local requirements for education and training, a State or local government shall not discriminate against education and training provided to such personnel by a religious organization, so long as such education and training is comparable to that provided by nonreligious organizations, or is comparable to education and training that the State or local government would otherwise credit for purposes of determining whether the relevant requirements have been satisfied.

§54a.14   Determination of nonprofit status.

The nonprofit status of any SAMHSA applicant can be determined by any of the following:

(a) Reference to the organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

(b) A copy of a currently valid IRS Tax exemption certificate.

(c) A statement from a State taxing body, State Attorney General, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a nonprofit status and that none of its net earnings accrue to any private shareholder or individuals.

(d) A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the organization.

(e) Any of the above proof for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local nonprofit affiliate.

Appendix to Part 54a—Model Notice of Individuals Receiving Substance Abuse Services

Model Notice to Individuals Receiving Substance Abuse Services

No provider of substance abuse services receiving Federal funds from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including this organization, may discriminate against you on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.

If you object to the religious character of this organization, Federal law gives you the right to a referral to another provider of substance abuse services. The referral, and your receipt of alternative services, must occur within a reasonable period of time after you request them. The alternative provider must be accessible to you and have the capacity to provide substance abuse services. The services provided to you by the alternative provider must be of a value not less than the value of the services you would have received from this organization.



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