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Title VI’s Protection against Health Care Discrimination

This content about civil rights was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

Our country has a variety of laws that protect people from being treated unequally in different areas, such as the health care sector. One of them is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which defends individuals from discrimination founded on color, race, or national origin in activities and programs benefited by federal funds.

Title VI forbids discriminating behaviors in health care programs, such as hospitals, extended care facilities, Medicaid, family health clinics, nursing homes, public assistance programs, and adoption agencies; as well as in centers for daycare, family health, alcohol and drug treatment, senior citizens, and mental health.

If a health care entity disobeys Title VI, it could lose its federal financial assistance and may be sued for malpractice. The following acts of discrimination are violations of this law:

  • Denial of services or access to other benefits offered by a health care or social service program.
  • Lack of measures for guaranteeing access to health care programs to people with limited English Proficiency.
  • The supply of a different service, financial assistance, or another benefit; as well as their provision in a distinct way from the ones provided to other people benefited by the health care program.
  • Treatment of patients separately in any subject associated with the supply of a service, economic aid, or some other benefit.

What to Do in Case of a Title VI of Civil Rights Infringement

If you have been discriminated against in a health care entity benefited by federal funds, you may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) either electronically or by snail mail. You need to take this action within 180 days counted from the day of the illegal act.

After reviewing your complaint, OCR will decide whether or not they are going to open an investigation. If they study your case and find out that a discriminatory behavior was performed, then they will ask the health care center to correct the illegal act. If negotiations between the two of them don’t work, OCR may start the necessary proceedings to suspend the federal financial aid provided. In case they choose not to initiate the investigation, you may file a lawsuit.

Being discriminated against may be very hurtful and awkward. If you believe you have received unequal treatment in a health care center, it’s highly recommended to search for a civil rights attorney who may help with the required legal process to obtain a favorable outcome.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.