Federal Agencies Compel Medical Center to Ensure Effective Communication for Patients With Hearing Loss In response to allegations that it violated the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act, the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC) entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with federal agencies to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Federal laws require health care providers ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   March 01, 2018
Federal Agencies Compel Medical Center to Ensure Effective Communication for Patients With Hearing Loss
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2018
Federal Agencies Compel Medical Center to Ensure Effective Communication for Patients With Hearing Loss
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.23032018.13
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.23032018.13
In response to allegations that it violated the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act, the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC) entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with federal agencies to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Federal laws require health care providers who receive federal reimbursement may not discriminate and must offer free language-translation services to any patient who needs them. The providers must offer appropriate auxiliary aids and services to people with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills so that they have an equal opportunity to benefit from the providers’ services.
The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiated a compliance review with UVMC after it received two separate complaints alleging violations of Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The complainants, who are deaf and use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication, said that UVMC failed to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication while they were receiving medical treatment.
The voluntary resolution agreement requires UVMC to provide notice that auxiliary aids and services are available, implement grievance procedures and feedback protocols, provide training to its personnel on communication for people with speech, hearing or vision impairments, and update policies and procedures through continued improvement. UVMC will also pay the complainants $20,500. The Office of Civil Rights and U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor UVMC’s compliance during the three-year course of the agreement.
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March 2018
Volume 23, Issue 3