Kansas Medical Facility Settles ADA Violation Case: Agrees to Compensation and Policy Changes for Better Communication with Deaf Patients

By Trish Svoboda

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced a settlement with a Kansas medical facility, Providence Medical Center (PMC), over allegations of failing to provide a sign language interpreter for a deaf patient, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

As part of the settlement, PMC has agreed to compensate the aggrieved individual for the communication difficulties experienced during a five-day hospital stay. In addition, PMC has committed to revising its policies and practices to comply with ADA obligations. These changes include:

· Ensuring effective communication by providing necessary auxiliary aids and services to patients and companions who are deaf or hard of hearing.

· Appointing an ADA Administrator or Co-Administrators, available 24/7, to handle queries and provide assistance regarding auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters.

· Keeping a log of requests for on-site or video remote qualified interpreters, documenting the request’s time and date, patient’s name, and scheduled appointment time and date.

· Implementing a complaint resolution mechanism to investigate disputes about effective communication with deaf patients and companions.

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