Thanks for printing!  Don't forget to come back to Healthcare Compliance Pros for fresh articles!

Are You Ready for Nondiscrimination and LEP Posting Requirements?

A few months ago, we published the summary of the final rule the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced to protect individuals from discrimination in health care.  As part of the final rule, covered entities are required to post notices of nondiscrimination and taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) to the availability of language assistance services.

According to HHS, the final rule applies to every health program or activity that receives HHS funding,  every health program or activity administered by HHS, such as the Medicare Part D program, and the Health Insurance Marketplaces and all plans offered by issuers that participate in those Marketplaces. Covered entities may include hospitals, health clinics, health insurance issuers, state Medicaid agencies, community health centers, physician's practices and home health care agencies. While the final rule applies only to HHS and the health programs and activities it funds, the Section 1557 statute applies more broadly to health programs and activities that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency. The effective date of this final rule is July 18, 2016.

Below is a breakdown of the nondiscrimination and LEP posting requirements and steps you should take to ensure compliance.

Nondiscrimination Posting Requirements 

Under the final rule, covered entities are required to take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communication with others.  Covered entities must post a notice of individuals' rights, providing information about communication assistance among other information.

LEP Posting Requirements 

Under the final rule, covered entities are required to post a notice of individuals' rights providing information about communication assistance for individuals with limited English proficiency, among other information.  In each state, covered entities are required to post taglines in the top 15 languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in that state that indicate the availability of language assistance.

Steps to ensure compliance

Similar to the requirement for posting your Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), the notices of nondiscrimination and taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency to the availability of language assistance services should be posted:

  • Conspicuous location in significant publications and significant communications targeted to beneficiaries, enrollees, applicants, and members of the public, except for significant publications and significant communications that are small-sized, such as postcards and tri-fold brochures (e.g. NAME OF COVERED ENTITY complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex);
  • In conspicuous physical locations where the entity interacts with the public; and
  • In a on the covered entity's Web site accessible from the home page of the covered entity's Web site.

OCR has translated a sample notice of nondiscrimination and the taglines for use by covered entities into 64 languages:

  1. We recommend determining the top 15 languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in your state.
  2. Click the following ling to access a sample of notice of discrimination and the taglines for use by covered entities.
  3. Edit the Sample Notice Informing Individuals about Nondiscrimination and Accessibility Requirements and Sample Nondiscrimination Statement; or develop a similar notice.
  4. Add the taglines to the Sample Notice.
  5. Post the edited notice on your website and in a physical location at your facility. For example, print out your edited notice and placed in a clear folder.  Keep the folder at the registration desk where all patients can see at the time of their appointment.  Alternatively, print out and post in the same general vicinity as your NPP.
  6. Determine if posting the statement is necessary in your publications and communications.
  7. If yes, edit and ensure the following statement – or something similar – is added to your publications and communications: NAME OF COVERED ENTITY complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by phone: 855-427-0427 or by email: [email protected]

Return to the Home Page