HealthSource Saginaw has reached a settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan regarding an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case stems from a complaint filed against the hospital, alleging it failed to provide a sign language interpreter to a deaf patient at one of its outpatient clinics. A mother in Flint submitted the complaint, saying HealthSource failed to provide appropriate services to her teenage son, who’s deaf, while he was an outpatient.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the hospital fully cooperated with the investigation. The settlement agreement requires HealthSource to adopt specific policies and procedures to ensure that the proper aids and services are provided to patients or companions who are deaf or hard of hearing. They’re also required to provide staff training on the new policies and overall requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
McQuade said the issue of providing effective communication to the deaf or hard of hearing is bigger than one hospital or medical provider, and violations are common. She says her office will continue enforcement efforts to raise awareness and ensure ADA rules are followed.