Trump administration proposal includes loosening ACA medical interpreter rules

As part of the Trump administration's move to relax regulations related to Section 1557 of the ACA, also known as the nondiscrimination provision, hospitals would no longer be required to inform patients of available translation services, reports Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

In May, HHS issued a proposed rule to revise Section 1557, making changes it says will save $3.6 billion in five years. The comment period is closed and a final rule is pending. 

The pending changes could have a significant impact on women's health and LGBTQ health, by rolling back Obama-era rules that included termination of pregnancy and gender identity in a new definition of discrimination "on the basis of sex." However, the pending Trump administration changes could also create a barrier for patients who do not speak English proficiently or who may need a sign-language interpreter. 

Current law guarantees medical translation services for patients with limited English proficiency or with disabilities, and requires medical providers to inform patients of this right in at least 15 languages, according to Stateline. The changes will no longer require providers to inform patients of this right. They are being made to reduce administrative burden, according to the report.  

Read more here about how this change could affect patient care.


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