By Sarah Chicoine
WSHA released a bulletin outlining significant changes HHS made to the regulations that implement section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new federal regulations reduce language access requirements, including eliminating notice and tagline requirements; narrowing the definition of “sex” as a basis for discrimination under section 1557; and significantly reducing when and what entities must abide by section 1557, among other changes. The final rule is scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 18, 2020, although court challenges have begun and may prevent the final rule from going into effect on that date. Regardless of the changes, WSHA strongly recommends that hospitals maintain robust nondiscrimination and language access practices to meet the needs of their patients and communities.