ACA Section 1557 compliance: Don’t miss the boat

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act quietly took effect this summer, and many home health and hospice providers are finding themselves surprised by the requirements now necessary to continue being compliant with federal law.

The new rule means that any entity that operates a health program receiving federal funding under HHS programs (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) not only cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in healthcare programs or activities, but must convey their nondiscrimination policy on company websites, publications, and more.

In addition, entities must convey their language accessibility via the same formats for enrollees, applicants and members of the public.

So, what does that mean for your home health or hospice agency? Put simply, your company’s website, brochures, booklets, and even the wall of your main office must display your nondiscrimination commitment and language availability.

Large notices and significant communications must include a longer nondiscrimination statement and the language accessibility taglines in the top 15 non-English languages spoken in your state. Smaller publications, such as brochures, are required to include only an abbreviated nondiscrimination statement and the language accessibility taglines in the top two non-English languages spoken in the state.

Sample taglines translated into dozens of languages are available here. Find the top languages spoken in your state in the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey.

TAG Partners is working on updating all the materials in our webstore with the newly required language. We’ll incorporate the language into any of your materials to help keep you compliant and moving forward.