Kaiser Permanente Agrees to Adjust to Federal Legislation by Bettering Entry for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Arduous of Listening to | USAO-CDCA

LOS ANGELES – Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals have agreed to investigate allegations that they have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not using a qualified sign language interpreter or any other appropriate form in one of their facilities of aids or service to a deaf patient.

The resolution signed this week by the executives of the two Kaiser companies ensures that people with disabilities at Baldwin Park Medical Center receive the appropriate tools 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 deaf or hard of hearing people have unrestricted and equal access to medical appointments, treatments, and emergency visits at this medical center.

The investigation into the matter was initiated by a complainant who alleged that she had not been given effective communication before and after surgery in 2018.

The companies that fully cooperated with the government investigation have agreed:

  • Provide appropriate tools and services, including qualified interpreters, if necessary, to ensure effective communication with deaf or hard of hearing patients and their carers;
  • make known the availability of tools and services;
  • Provide training on tools and services, including qualified interpreters, the diversity coordinator, medical center staff and operator; and
  • Paying compensation to the complainant and civil sanctions to the United States.

In February 2020, the U.S. Attorney General, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals entered into a settlement agreement to investigate allegations that the two companies failed to provide qualified sign language interpreters or other suitable assistants to a patient in their West Medical Center Los Angeles.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation as part of the Department of Justice’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, through which U.S. Attorneys and the Department of Civil Rights of the Department target enforcement efforts at an area critical for people with disabilities – access to health care and facilities.

Acrivi Coromelas, US Assistant Attorney of the Civil Rights Division of the Civil Division, took care of the matter.

For more information about ADA, please call the ADA toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD) or visit the ADA website at http://www.ada.gov.

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