HHS' Office for Civil Rights announced that it entered into a resolution agreement with East (Tyler) Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System regarding its treatment of deaf or hard-of-hearing patients.
Texas system reaches agreement with HHS after complaint by deaf patient
The agreement follows an investigation into an allegation by a deaf patient that she had not been provided a sign language interpreter while receiving prenatal care at ETMC Crocket (Texas) Hospital, which led to the OCR issuing a letter of concern to the system (PDF), according to a news release.
The agreement does not include an admission or evidence of any violation of laws or of any liability or wrongdoing on the part of ETMC, the resolution states.
As a result of the agreement, ETMC will assess each patient to determine whether auxiliary aids and services are necessary; install additional text telephones implement a grievance procedure and new policies on nondiscrimination and the provision of auxiliary aids and services; appoint a coordinator; and provide staff training, according to the news release.
In a statement, East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System said: “We are assessing and strengthening resources across our system to ensure consistent, effective communications between healthcare professionals and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
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