Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals have agreed to resolve allegations that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide at one of their facilities a qualified sign language interpreter or other appropriate form of auxiliary aid or service to a deaf patient, it was announced Friday.
The letter of resolution, which was signed this week by executives with the two Kaiser entities, ensures that individuals with disabilities at its Baldwin Park Medical Center receive appropriate auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication.
Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals have agreed to provide equipment and services free of charge to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have full and equal access to medical appointments, treatments and emergency visits at this medical center, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation was triggered by a complaint lodged by a woman who alleged she was not provided effective communication before and after a surgical procedure in 2018.
The entities, which fully cooperated with the government’s investigation, agreed to:
— provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, when necessary to ensure effective communication with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and their companions;
— advertise the availability of auxiliary aids and services;
— provide training on auxiliary aids and services, including to qualified interpreters, the diversity coordinator, Medical Center personnel and telephone operators; and
— pay compensation to the complainant and civil penalties to the United States.
In February 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals entered into a settlement agreement to resolve allegations that the two entities failed to provide qualified sign language interpreters or other appropriate forms of assistant to a patient at their West Los Angeles Medical Center.
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