By now, we know that discrimination is against the law. Or we should know that. As it turns out, many physician practices don’t know the compliance standards of ACA Section 1557, and that they are currently NONCOMPLIANT. And who can blame a busy practice administrator?? With so many rules & regulations about just about anything, this was easy to miss.
IF a practice knows about Section 1557, they may assume it doesn’t apply to them. So who does this regulation apply to? ANY provider receiving federal assistance from HHS. Those would include:
- Medicare Parts A, C & D
- Grants and Credits from HHS, such as Meaningful Use payments
So, what does a practice have to do to become compliant?
There are actually 7 required elements included in Section 1557. The elements include information regarding language assistance services being available at no charge to the patient, and how a patient can obtain auxiliary aids, free of charge. Also included is information regarding the grievance procedure for any action prohibited by Section 15574.
A non-discrimination notice that contains all 7 requirements must be posted in a number of places. One is a conspicuous physical location at the practice location, like the waiting room. In addition to the office, a link to the notice must be accessible from the practice’s website home page.
The official ruling can be found here:
We’ve tried to make the rules easy to understand, so we’ve created a whole page on our website. That can be found here:
Don’t allow your practice to be non-compliant. It’s an easy fix. Not knowing about the requirements seems to be the biggest issue.