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The alphabet soup of healthcare information for 508 accessibility

Gary Iverson, 508 Accessibility Senior Manager | October 03, 2017

"The CMS uses HPMS to manage and record information for MA, Part D, and ACO programs. The type of plans include HMO, PPO, PFFS, PDP, etc. and recent filings for the document types of ANOC/EOC and SB. These federally funded programs are also regulated by 504, 508, and 1557 legislation."

Wow! If you can follow the logic of that paragraph, then you are well-seasoned and all set. But for other professionals, the alphabet soup can get a bit blurry when you’re trying to connect the dots between the regulation of the plans and programs, to equal rights and accessibility validation. 

If you want to feel good about what you do and why you do it, then know that you are making a difference with 504, 508 and 1557.

These three pieces of Federal legislation support equal participation and accessibility to healthcare programs, services, and activities.

  • Ruling 1557 addresses non-discrimination and equal rights
  • Section 504 supports output utilizing audio, large print and Braille
  • Section 508 mandates accessible electronic documents including your web site and PDFs posted on them

New technology, legislative focus and legal adoption of accessibility standards by the healthcare industry means it’s up to you to make a difference for your company and your members who need that service.

Where does providing a service stop and an individual’s tool capabilities start? 

That is the question you can answer only by being a person with disabilities. A healthcare provider has the responsibility to make their best effort and provide reasonable accommodations.

At Merrill we support this by using the view of a person with disabilities to establish our workflow processes balanced with the intent of the law. We focus on PDFs because they are the most common output for public distribution. We build our tools and techniques with navigation features to ensure the 508 metadata and the construction of the file is useful for accessibility software such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, language synthesizers, special keyboards, special mice and cursor controllers.

Up for an experiment?

Send us up to four PDFs and we will provide a complimentary review, analyzing and focusing on the usefulness and compliance to 508 standards. Email us at:

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