Friday, January 16, 2015

Feds fine physicians who won't treat HIV patient


As part of its Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, the Justice Department has reached a settlement with Genesis Healthcare System in Ohio to resolve claims that Genesis discriminated against a woman with HIV in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Following an investigation, the Department found that Genesis discriminated against a woman with HIV when one of its primary care physicians refused to accept her as a new patient because of her HIV, despite the fact that she was only seeking a general practitioner for medical care unrelated to HIV. The Department's investigation revealed that it was this doctor's practice to refer any patients with HIV seeking a primary care physician to an HIV specialist. 

Under the settlement, Genesis must may $25,000 to the victim of discrimination, and $9,000 as a civil penalty. In addition, it must train its staff on the ADA, develop and implement a non-discrimination policy, and report to the Department every time a person with HIV (or who is suspected of having HIV) is denied or discharged as a patient, with a written justification for the decision.

For more information on the ADA, HIV discrimination, and this settlement visit, or call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD). For more information on the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative visit

-- Jerry Wolffe