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Meaningful Access Rule

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Posted July 21, 2016

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Affordable Care Act

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is implementing a Meaningful Access Rule. The Meaningful Access Rule will apply to the ACA’s Section 1557’s anti-discrimination policies. This section defines that any health care provider that receives funding from the federal government must not discriminate any individual on the basis of race, color, nationality, sex, age, or disability. The new regulations will require theses health care providers to provide physical and Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) accessibility.

What are EITs?

Electronic and Information Technologies include:

  • Web Based Information
  • Hardware & Software
  • Multimedia Products
  • Telecommunication Services
  • Office Equipment

Websites fall under the EIT classification and the HHS encourages health care providers to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Health care providers who receive funding through the federal government are required to follow Title II requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The United States Department of Justice is also implementing new regulations to the ADA, to update the “place of accommodation” definition to apply to websites, not just physical buildings.

The Meaningful Access Rule came into effect July 18, 2016. In turn, effective July 2017, there will be new Medicaid rules, which will require managed care programs that have EITs to comply with “modern accessibility standards.”

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