Who Can and Cannot Translate in ASCs?
An overview of Affordable Care Act Section 1557
BY ALEX TAIRA | DECEMBER 2017
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—commonly referred to as the ACA—brought sweeping regulatory changes to the health care industry. Section 1557 of the ACA instituted new nondiscrimination requirements, which prohibits health care providers from discriminating in health care or health coverage based on a variety of traits. Relevant to daily operation of ASCs is the prohibition from discrimination based on English language proficiency, and the requirement that patients have access to qualified interpreters. Oversight and enforcement responsibilities for Section 1557 was given to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which issued a final rule outlining its implementation plan in May of 2016. Health care providers were required to be compliant with Section 1557 provisions starting July 18, 2016.