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Proposed Rule from CMS Revises Non-Discrimination Regulations

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 3:18 AM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS have issued a proposed rule changing the non-discrimination regulations that implemented Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The revisions are intended to reduce burden, eliminate redundancy, and provide clarity in the application of the non-discrimination requirements. The same proposed rule was issued by HHS, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on May 24, 2019.

HHS proposes to eliminate entirety the definition section, which includes the definition for “on the basis of sex”, and the sections that require covered entities include translated taglines on notices on significant communications.

Under the proposed rule, HHS would continue to vigorously enforce prohibitions of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex in healthcare, as Section 1557 provides. The rule would also keep protections under previous regulation to guarantee physical access for persons with disabilities to healthcare facilities, and appropriate communication technology to assist persons who are visually or hearing-impaired. HHS’s proposed rule also retains protections for non-English speakers, including the right to meaningful language access to healthcare, qualification standards for translators and interpreters, and limitations on the use of minors and family members as translators in healthcare settings.

CMS estimates the proposed revisions would eliminate $3.2 billion in unneeded paperwork burdens imposed by the 2016 final rule.

Source: NAHC Report

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