DISCRIMINATION IS AGAINST THE LAW
While everyone knows discrimination is against the law, very few physician practices are aware of Section 1557 of the ACA that went into effect October 17, 2016. This regulation applies to any provider receiving federal financial assistance from HHS. Those would include:
♦ Medicare Parts A, C and D
♦ Grants and credits from HHS, such as Meaningful Use payments.
If you are not familiar with section 1557…and your practice does not have the required notifications in place, it is out of compliance!
The short version of the requirements is as follows:
ALL covered entities (physician practices) post a non-discrimination notice that contains all 7 of the required elements. Those elements are:
1. Provider(s) do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its health programs and activities;
2. Practice will provide appropriate aids and services free of charge, when needed;
3. The Practice will provide language assistance services free of charge, when needed;
4. Information on how a patient can obtain the aids and language assistance services;
5. Contact information for the person at the practice responsible for compliance with Section 1557, if applicable;
6. Information regarding the grievance procedure for any action prohibited by Section 1557, if applicable;
7. Documentation on how to file a discrimination complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.
This notice must be posted in conspicuous physical locations. A link to the notice must be accessible from the entity’s website home page, in a legible font. (We have seen some practice websites that, while having a notice on their website, it is either buried on a “forms” page, or only accessible from a site map.)
Some practices didn’t know about Section 1557 at all. Others were aware of it, but the instructions on the HHS website are confusing at best. We have spent a great deal of time familiarizing ourselves of the requirements and have come up with a simple solution. We can handle the details for you, including a poster(s) of the Nondiscrimination Notice, personalized for your practice. Additionally, we can create the appropriate personalized pdf files for your website.
All states language taglines are available.
Click here for more detailed information about Section 1557.