The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations require health care organizations to notify patients of free translation services for the 15 most commonly spoken languages in each state. On May 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed to eliminate this requirement. When the requirement to offer translation services was originally established, the Obama Administration projected that it would only cost $7.2 million over five years, which underestimated how much it would cost to print and mail the notices to patients. The Trump Administration claims that eliminating this requirement would save $3.6 billion in over five years, arguing that it would have a negligible impact on patients. The administration also suggested that at least 90 percent of health care providers were not complying with the ACA requirements.
Yet, the proposed rule change could cause non-English speakers to lack understanding of information related to their health, and it could prevent such individuals from accessing health care altogether.
To learn more about the proposed rule, click here.