Earlier this Spring, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized a rule that seeks to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping.
The following are just some of the requirements under the HHS’s new rule:
- Women must be treated equally with men in the health care they receive, not only in the health coverage they obtain but in the health services they seek from providers;
- Covered entities must make electronic information and newly constructed or altered facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities;
- Covered entities must take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency;
- Covered entities with fifteen (15) or more employees must have a “grievance procedure” and a compliance coordinator; and
- Beginning October 17, 2016, covered entities will be required to post Notices of Non-Discrimination and Taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) to the availability of language assistance services.
Because the HHS understands that all of the requirements under the new rule are enormous, they are providing some training materials and forms on their website for covered entities to review. The HHS also strongly encourages all covered entities to review the procedural requirements of the final rule to make sure they are in compliance.
Written by: Samantha Prokop, Healthcare Attorney at RezLegal