A Lake Elsinore physician has agreed to resolve allegations that he violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide a qualified sign language interpreter or other appropriate form of assistance to a deaf patient, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Dr. Javier Rios agreed to comply with the ADA by providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services free of charge so people who are deaf or hard of hearing have full and equal access to appointments and treatment at his office, according to federal prosecutors.
The settlement resolves allegations that Rios, during more than a dozen appointments from 2016 to 2018, failed to provide such services for a patient who is deaf, telling her instead that she or her insurance company should provide them.
The ADA requires providers, not patients, to ensure effective communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Rios fully cooperated with the government’s investigation. prosecutors said.
“Communicating with medical professionals not only is a right under federal law, it also can be a matter of life and death,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “My office will take the necessary measures to ensure that health care providers comply with the ADA and provide equal treatment for the deaf and hard of hearing.”
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