Compliance 101: Recent Settlements Should Compel Provider Review Of ADA Auxiliary Aid Compliance

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A string of enforcement actions and public settlements in recent months have given health care providers across the country fair warning — Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enforcement is on its way. Since the July 2012 ADA Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative (Initiative) was announced, there have been a total of 14 publicly disclosed enforcement actions against healthcare providers, with the largest settlement to date reaching $140,000.

The Initiative was pursued by the federal government as a mechanism for putting enforcement muscle behind ADA requirements, and it allowed two federal bodies (i.e., the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice) to leverage their respective resources in pursuing non-compliance among providers. Specifically, the collaboration between these two agencies has allowed them to target their enforcement efforts on a critical area for individuals who have disabilities—access to medical services and facilities. In the 12 months since the announcement, the Initiative seems to have achieved desired traction and healthcare providers, from physician practices to large health systems, are scrambling to ensure that their current policies and procedures reflect the ADA’s requirements. In announcing settlements, Eve L. Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division was quoted as saying...

Originally Published in Compliance Today - December 2013.

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