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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. § 794, and for ensuring that all Medicare contractors, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, and Quality Improvement Organizations comply with these requirements. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federally assisted and federally conducted programs and activities. It is your responsibility to ensure that beneficiaries and members of the public are afforded equal access to your products and services.

CMS is currently developing additional business processes to facilitate providing all materials and information in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audio CD, data CD, and qualified reader), if requested by a beneficiary or member of the general public. Until information about these additional processes is provided, contractors shall follow the interim process detailed below.   

  1. Post the following message on your public facing websites within 10 business days of receiving this
    For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit:
  2. If you are contacted directly by a beneficiary or a member of the general public with a request for      materials or information in an alternative format:

    Direct the inquirer to contact CMS through one of the following methods:

Phone: For Medicare documents: 1-800-Medicare 
             For all other documents: 1-844-ALT-FORM (1-844-258-3676)
Fax:     1-844-530-3676
TTY:    Medicare documents: 1-877-486-2048
            All other documents: 1-844-716-3676

Postal Mail:     Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
                          Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Civil Rights
                          7500 Security Boulevard, Room N2-22-16
                          Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Attn: CMS Alternate Format Team

It is critical that individuals receive accurate information regarding their right to alternative formats.  You must ensure that beneficiaries and members of the public are directed to CMS during this interim period.

When CMS receives a request for a document you produce, I will contact your organization to obtain a standard copy of the document.  CMS will convert the document into the requested alternative format.

Additional instructions will be provided as we implement new measures to improve our ability to communicate effectively with beneficiaries, consumers and members of the public.

The above guidance is not to be construed as a change, or intent to change, the scope of the work under your respective contract.  It is to be acted upon only if it falls within the general scope of the contract and sufficient funds are available.  Your attention is directed to the contract, Section I, FAR 52.232.20, Limitation of Cost, and FAR 52.243-7, Notification of Changes.

If you have questions or need additional information you may contact me at (410) 786-0542,  Contractual questions should be directed to your CMS Contracting Officer.




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