Compliance officers have the critical job of ensuring their organization complies with government regulations, domestically and globally. When the job is done right, organizations can avoid costly fines, lawsuits, and damage to their reputation.
Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) deals with healthcare accessibility and discrimination based on disability. Under the law, all covered entities and programs must comply with this legislation to operate legally. Otherwise, they risk severe consequences. So how do you know if your business is compliant? What can you do to make sure your company continually complies with changes in regulations?
Akorbi helps companies keep up with the latest regulatory compliance requirements by obtaining qualified interpreters and staying up-to-date on the most recent industry regulations. This blog will review Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to help you better understand the need for compliant language services and interpreters in the healthcare industry.
Related post: What Our Compliance Services Do for You
What is Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act?
Under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the nondiscrimination provision of the ACA, healthcare providers are prohibited from discriminating in healthcare or health coverage based on race, “color,” national origin, immigration status, and English language proficiency. It also requires health care providers to provide patients access to qualified interpreters.
The final rule also requires covered entities:
- To make all programs and activities provided through electronic and information technology accessible.
- To ensure the physical accessibility of newly constructed or altered facilities.
- To provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities.
- To take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to each individual with limited English proficiency eligible to be served or likely to be encountered in their health programs and activities.
Entities covered by Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act are also encouraged to develop and implement a language access plan.
Is my business compliant?
To determine whether your business is compliant with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, you’ll need to address whether or not your company does the following things:
- Protects individuals against sex discrimination
- Ensures access for individuals with limited English proficiency
- Ensures effective communication with and accessibility for people with disabilities
- Protects health insurance coverage
- Notifies individuals that your company does not discriminate based on race, “color,” national origin, sex, age, or disability with posted notices
- Notify individuals that your company provides qualified interpreters by posting taglines in at least the top 15 non-English languages spoken in the state
- Employ and designate a compliance coordinator and develop a process for grievances (only applies to companies that employ 15+ people)
Akorbi can help your organization remain compliant with the law
If your organization is not fully compliant, Akorbi can help. All linguists with Akorbi are trained in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 508, ACA Section 1557, PCI, PHI, and HIPAA compliance. In addition to remediation (identifying the root causes of non-compliance), we can ensure that you have a qualified interpreter on your staff and get them tested, assessed, and verified by an accredited third party. We also provide technology solutions to ensure that your company’s digital content is accessible to all patients regardless of their English proficiency or physical abilities.
Please get in touch with Akorbi online or call 1-877-4-AKORBI to learn more about how we can help you identify areas of improvement and help you remedy them to keep your organization compliant.