CommunicationFIRST Joins Amicus Brief Challenging Rollback of Communication Protections in Health Care Settings

tall white facade buildings against a blue sky; one building has the word hospital in blue lettersYesterday, CommunicationFIRST joined an amicus brief in federal court in support of Washington state's Attorney General to seek a preliminary injunction to prevent a regulatory rollback of communication protections in health care settings. The regulation at issue was finalized by the US Department of Health and Human Services on June 19, 2020, and is scheduled to take effect on August 18, 2020.

If it goes into effect, the rule would remove some protections adopted under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act for people with limited English proficiency and those with communication-related disabilities, including the right to receive notice in various formats and languages about one's rights. The rule also removes the requirement for some health care entities to provide certain types of communication services and supports (anything other than "interpreters") free of charge and in a timely manner. The rule ultimately will harm people with communication disabilities and those with limited English proficiency by making it more difficult to communicate with health care providers and to otherwise access health care.

CommunicationFIRST joins the National Health Law Program, Justice in Aging, Public Citizen, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Center for Public Representation, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Disability Rights Washington, Legal Voice, National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, and SAGE in the amicus brief, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in the case of State of Washington vs. US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Read the brief here.