Section 1557 Updates

Language Assistance

Many of you have likely heard about Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits entities that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex. Providing language assistance at no cost to certain patients with limited English proficiency is one of the provisions of the final Section 1557 rule that was announced in July by the Office of Civil Rights. Another requirement of the new rule is to post notifications for patients in the 15 most frequent languages specific to your state. The ADA has released a new poster specific to states. Below is the link for the poster pertaining to Rule 1557 requirements in North Dakota that you can print and post in your office, place on your website, and any other “significant publication”. The rule was effective July 18, but some provisions don’t go into effect until 90 days later, which is October 16.

Download ND language poster

You are also required to post a short notice of non-discrimination. You can see Office of Civil Rights samples of these notices of nondiscrimination, as well as a checklist, at

Interpretation/Translation Services

CyraCom provides phone and video interpretation, enabling dentists to communicate with their non-English-speaking patients in seconds.

CyraCom provides dental offices:

• Easy online sign-up with no startup costs or minimum fees
• Compliance with Section 1557 language service requirements
• Preferred pricing off of interpretation services

Questions: 844-737-0791

Sign Up:

Additional NDDA note:

Questions have been asked regarding whether a dental practice that does not accept payment from Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage Plans, are subject to the provisions of Rule 1557? ADA staff have advised us that the answer is “no”. However, they say that a patient could still possibly bring a civil action against an office that does not provide translation services by filing a complaint under civil rights laws depending on the federal or state jurisdiction. Bottom line, check with your attorney if you have further questions about your specific responsibilities under 1557 or other applicable civil rights laws.