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Sec. 1557: Oct. 16 is deadline for taglines, nondiscrimination notices

September 27, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

In its ongoing education efforts on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the ADA is reminding dentists that the deadline is Oct. 16 for complying with the posting of notices.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Sec. 1557 final rule requires covered dental practices to post two kinds of notices:

  • a notice of nondiscrimination
  • a tagline in the state’s top 15 non-English languages that indicates free language assistance services are available.

These notices must be posted in the dental office, on a practice’s website, and in significant publications and communications. For smaller items, such as postcards and tri-fold brochures, the practice may use a shorter nondiscrimination statement and taglines in the top two non-English languages spoken in the state.

To comply with the notices requirement, dental offices can create their own translated taglines, download the translated samples provided by the Office for Civil Rights on its website, or use ADA’s sample tagline specific to dentists.

To assist members with compliance, the ADA has created state specific documents with translations of the ADA sample tagline for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These translated materials are now available for download at ADA.org/1557.  

A notice of nondiscrimination must also be posted in dental offices and on practice websites. This notice must also be included in significant publications and communications. For smaller items, a shorter nondiscrimination statement may be used.

Two versions of the OCR sample notice of nondiscrimination are available at ADA.org/1557. One version is for dental practices with 15 or more employees, and the other version is for dental practices with fewer than 15 employees. The OCR sample nondiscrimination statement is available at ADA.org/1557 under “Notice and Taglines Requirement FAQ.”

The Section 1557 final rule prohibits discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping. The final rule, which was effective July 18, applies to health care providers who receive certain funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. According to the Office for Civil Rights, dentists who are reimbursed by Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, are also considered covered entities, whether the Medicare Advantage plan pays the dentist or the patient. Dentists who only receive reimbursement under Medicare Part B are not covered under Section 1557.

In addition to the ADA sample taglines, resources to aid in compliance with the Sec. 1557 final rule, including an FAQ, checklist and sample forms, are online for members. Visit ADA.org/1557.

Sample materials are also available on the OCR’s website. For more information, visit the OCR’s website and search Section 1557.