< Settlement Agreement between the United States and the Henry Ford Health System

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

Press Release


  1. This action was initiated by a complaint filed with the United States against Kingswood Hospital ("the Hospital") and its parent organization, the Henry Ford Health System ("HFHS"). The complaint was investigated by the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12188.
  2. Kingswood Hospital is an acute care psychiatric hospital that provides a residential treatment program, located at 10300 West Eight Mile Road, Ferndale, Michigan 48220, and a member of the Henry Ford Health System. HFHS is a comprehensive, integrated health system that includes 7 hospitals, 8 after-hours and urgent care facilities, numerous community medical centers and other affiliated health services facilities such as specialized centers for oncology, eye care, addiction, athletic medicine, diagnostic testing, and pharmacies as outlined in Attachment A.
  3. The complainants in this matter, Debra Miller, Patricia Miller-Kryzaniak, and James W. Miller, are individuals with disabilities within the meaning of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1)(A) and its implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. Part 36. Debra Miller is hard-of-hearing, and Patricia Miller-Kryzaniak and James W. Miller are deaf. [1]
  4. The HFHS is a "public accommodation" as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(F) and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 36.104, because it is a private entity that operates places of public accommodation, specifically, hospitals and health care facilities.
  5. The ADA prohibits public accommodations, including hospitals, from discriminating on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. § 36.201(a).
  6. The complainants allege that HFHS discriminated against them by failing to provide them with the full and equal enjoyment of HFHS's goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations and by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services when necessary for effective communication. James W. Miller was deaf and used American Sign Language as his only means of communication. The complainants allege that James W. Miller was unable to communicate adequately with Hospital Personnel while he was receiving medical treatment at the Hospital. From August 15, 2004 through October 7, 2004, while enrolled in a residential program, he was not provided with sign language interpreters, and Hospital Personnel were unable to communicate with him, or his family, all of whom are either deaf or hard-of- hearing. The complainants further allege that, throughout his medical treatment, James W. Miller was unable to communicate with his treating physicians, nurses, and other Hospital Personnel, and that his companions, Debra Miller and Patricia Miller-Kryzaniak, were unable to participate in treatment conferences. HFHS, complainants, and the United States acknowledge that by failing to provide qualified interpreters and/or other appropriate auxiliary aids for effective communication, the complainants were unable to obtain full and equal enjoyment of the services and goods offered to the public by HFHS, in violation of the ADA and its implementing regulations.
  7. The United States has conducted an investigation of the complainants' allegations. HFHS has cooperated in that investigation. As a result of the investigation, the United States has determined that HFHS violated title III of the ADA and its implementing regulation by discriminating against the complainants.
  8. HFHS does not dispute the complainants' factual allegations and the claim that they discriminated against the complainants. All the parties agree that it is in their best interests, and the United States believes it is in the public interest, to resolve this matter promptly and without protracted litigation. In consideration of the terms of this Settlement Agreement, the United States agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing a civil suit in this action, except as provided in paragraphs 85 and 86. In entering this Settlement Agreement, the United States has specifically taken into consideration a variety of issues related to interpreter availability that are unique to the Detroit Metropolitan Area, HFHS's service areas, and HFHS's operations.
  9. The parties hereby agree to the following:

    DEFINITIONS

  10. The term "Auxiliary Aids and Services" includes, but is not limited to: qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services; oral, relay, or tactile interpreters; note-takers; real-time computer-aided transcription services; written materials; exchange of written notes; telephone handset amplifiers; assistive listening devices; assistive listening systems; telephones compatible with hearing aids; closed caption decoders; open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning; voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices; videotext displays; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b)(1).
  11. The term "Companion" means a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, and is a family member, friend, or associate of an individual seeking access to, or participating in, the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a public accommodation, who, along with such individual, is an appropriate person with whom the public accommodation should communicate.
  12. The term "deaf" refers to persons who are deaf, late-deafened or hard-of-hearing. The term "hard-of-hearing" includes persons who have a hearing deficit and who may or may not primarily use visual aids for communication and may or may not use auxiliary aids.
  13. The term "Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement" means the date of the last signature on this Settlement Agreement.
  14. The term "Hospital Personnel" means all employees, volunteers, and independent contractors with contracts to work on a full-time basis for HFHS (or on a part-time basis), including, without limitation, nurses, physicians, social workers, technicians, admitting personnel, receptionists, telephone operators, billing staff, security staff, therapists, and all volunteers, who have or are likely to have direct contact with Patients or Companions. The term also includes all physicians or other health care professionals who have medical staff privileges that permit them to see and/or treat Patients at HFHS.
  15. The term "in-service" includes, without limitation, such means of training or familiarization of Hospital Personnel as are customarily utilized by HFHS including, without limitation, written policies and procedures, HFHS University programs and courses, videotapes, training materials, training sessions, seminars, conferences, and the like.
  16. The term "Parties" means HFHS and the United States, acting by and through the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  17. The term "Patient" means any individual who is deaf or hard-of-hearing who is seeking or receiving health care services, including mental or behavioral health services, from HFHS (whether on an inpatient or outpatient basis), as well as individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, seeking to use any other goods or services provided by HFHS, such as the opportunity to donate blood or attend health education classes. The broad construction of this term also includes (but is not limited to) individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing seeking to communicate with representatives of HFHS, regarding past, present or future health care services, such as scheduling appointments, obtaining test results, and discussing billing issues.
  18. The term "qualified note-taker" means one who is able to take notes effectively and accurately, using any necessary specialized vocabulary and terminology.
  19. The terms "qualified sign language interpreter," "oral interpreter," or "interpreter" means an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any specialized terminology necessary for effective communication in a hospital setting to a Patient or a Companion who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, given that individual's language skills and history. Not all interpreters are qualified for all situations. For example, an interpreter who is qualified to interpret using American Sign Language is not necessarily qualified to interpret orally. Someone who has only a rudimentary familiarity with sign language or finger spelling is not a "qualified sign language interpreter" under this Settlement Agreement. Likewise, someone who is fluent in sign language but who does not possess the ability to process spoken communication into the proper signs or to observe someone else signing and change his or her signed or finger-spelled communication into spoken words is not a qualified sign language interpreter. 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
  20. The term "Standards" means the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, as set forth at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Subpart D; and the 2004 ADAAG at 36 C.F.R part 1191, appendices B and D.
  21. The term "TTY's" or "TDD's" means devices that are used with a telephone to communicate with persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by typing and reading communications.
  22. The term "Video Remote Interpreting" or "VRI" means an interpreting service that uses video conference technology over dedicated lines or wireless technology offering high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection that delivers high-quality video images. To ensure effectiveness, VRI must meet established performance and training standards as set forth at 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.

    PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION

  23. Non-Discrimination. HFHS will provide appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services, including qualified sign language interpreters, where such aids and services are necessary to ensure effective communication with Patients and Companions and do not impose an undue burden on HFHS, or fundamentally alter its services, as required by the ADA. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a), HFHS will also provide Patients and Companions with the full and equal enjoyment of the services, privileges, facilities, advantages, and accommodations of HFHS as required by this Settlement Agreement and the ADA. HFHS shall not deny its services, privileges, facilities, advantages, and accommodations to anyone based on the fact that the person is deaf or hard-of-hearing or is associated with someone known to be deaf or hard-of-hearing, as required by the ADA.
  24. Retaliation and Coercion. HFHS agrees not to retaliate against or coerce in any way any person who made or is making a complaint according to the provisions of this Settlement Agreement or is exercising his or her rights under this Settlement Agreement or the ADA.

    PROGRAM FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

    General Obligations

  25. Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services. Consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii), HFHS will provide to Patients and Companions any appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services that may be necessary for effective communication after making the determination described in paragraph 29 of this Settlement Agreement. Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services will be provided as soon as practicable, except that the provision of qualified interpreters must be within the time frame described in paragraphs 44 and 45 of this Settlement Agreement.
  26. Establishment of Program to Provide Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services. Within 120 days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will design and institute a program to implement the provisions of this Settlement Agreement, including without limitation:
    1. developing, coordinating, and overseeing the development of specific procedures to implement fully this Settlement Agreement;
    2. scheduling, announcing, and promoting all training required by this Settlement Agreement;
    3. coordinating the community outreach required by this Settlement Agreement;
    4. modifying medical and intake forms as necessary to ensure that HFHS makes the communication determination required by this Settlement Agreement for Patients or Companions;
    5. developing a plan for drafting, maintaining, and providing all reports required by this Settlement Agreement.
  27. Program Administrators. Within 30 days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will designate a high level corporate ADA program administrator ("Administrator"), who will oversee the program and be responsible for ensuring compliance with the HFHS policy and requirements of the ADA throughout HFHS. Simultaneously, with the designation of the Administrator, each HFHS facility or service listed in Attachment A, will designate one or more ADA Facilitators ("Facilitators") who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with this agreement at the local facility or program level. The Facilitators will be responsible to provide immediate access to and proper use of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services required by this Settlement Agreement. The Administrator, or his or her designee, will be available twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, to answer questions and provide appropriate assistance to Facilitators regarding immediate access to and proper use of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services required by this Settlement Agreement, including providing qualified interpreters within the time frames set forth in this Settlement Agreement. Such Facilitators will be available at each facility or service during and throughout the operating hours of the individual facility or program. (For example, if a facility operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that facility will have a designated Facilitator available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; if a facility operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., that facility or service will have a Facilitator available Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). The Facilitators in coordination with the ADA Administrator, will know where the appropriate Auxiliary Aids are stored and how to operate them, and will have and exercise authority to require their maintenance, repair, replacement, and distribution. HFHS will circulate broadly within and throughout HFHS, the names, telephone numbers, email addresses, functions, and office locations of such Facilitators and the ADA Administrator, including a TTY telephone number that may be called by Patients and Companions in order to obtain the assistance of such Program Facilitators on both a routine and emergency basis. Facilitators will respond to routine inquiries about the program from Patients or Companions during normal business hours and maintain a recording system for routine inquiries received after normal business hours. The Facilitators in collaboration with the ADA Administrator will be responsible for the complaint resolution process described in paragraph 38 of this Settlement Agreement. The ADA Administrator and the Facilitators will be designated by HFHS no later than 30 days following the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement. Nothing in this Settlement Agreement shall prohibit HFHS from including the responsibility of the Program Facilitators and/or ADA Administrator in the job descriptions of positions that have other duties and responsibilities.
  28. Review of New and Modified Policies. HFHS will submit copies of all policies and procedures that are created or modified in order to comply with this Settlement Agreement for review and approval to the United States prior to the implementation of such policies and/or procedures. The United States will make its best efforts to review the proposed policies and procedures within thirty (30) days of receipt. HFHS will adjust these proposed policies and procedures to reflect any reasonable comments or concerns identified by the United States. The United States will not unreasonably withhold its approval of proposed policies and procedures. To the extent the United States fails to complete its review within thirty days, any deadline on an HFHS obligation related to any policy or procedure that is not reviewed within thirty days will be automatically extended by the number of days in excess of 30 days taken by the United States to complete its review.

    Provision of Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services

  29. General Determination Criteria. The determination of which appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services are necessary, and the timing, duration, and frequency with which they will be provided, will be made by the Hospital Personnel who are otherwise primarily responsible for coordinating and/or providing patient care services. This determination will be made in consultation with the Patient or Companion, wherever possible, to determine what type of auxiliary aids or services are needed to ensure effective communication. HFHS will develop a form for conducting this determination no later than thirty (30) days following the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement. The determination made by Hospital Personnel will take into account all relevant facts and circumstances, including without limitation the following:
    1. the nature, length, and importance of the communication at issue;
    2. the individual's communication skills and knowledge;
    3. the Patient's health status or changes thereto;
    4. the Patient's and/or Companion's request for or statement of need for an interpreter or other specific auxiliary aid or service;
    5. the reasonably foreseeable health care activities of the Patient (e.g., group therapy sessions, medical tests or procedures, rehabilitation services, meetings with health care professionals or social workers, or discussions concerning billing, insurance, self-care, prognoses, diagnoses, history, and discharge);
    6. the anticipated period of time that the Patient will be in the Hospital; and
    7. the availability at the required times, day or night, of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services.
  30. Timing of Determination. The initial determination will be made at the earliest of the following: (1) the time an appointment is scheduled, provided that the Patient or Companion communicates the need for auxiliary aids or services; (2) the time HFHS becomes aware that a Patient or Companion who may require auxiliary aids or services is en route to HFHS; or (3) the time the Patient or Companion initially comes in contact with Hospital Personnel. Hospital Personnel will perform and document a communication determination as part of each initial Patient assessment. Completion of communication determinations, including copies of any determination form used, will be documented in the Patient's medical record. In all instances where Hospital Personnel become aware that a Patient or Companion is en route to an Emergency Department (by ambulance or otherwise), Hospital Personnel will make reasonable efforts to conduct a determination in advance of the Patient or Companion's arrival and seek to have appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services available as soon as practicable after the Patient or Companion's arrival at HFHS.
  31. Redetermination. HFHS will reassess its determination of which appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services are necessary, in consultation with the Patient or Companion, when a Patient or Companion complains about the auxiliary aid or service provided. HFHS will document any instances where Patients or Companions complain about the auxiliary aids and services provided by HFHS. HFHS will document any redeterminations and the results of any redeterminations.
  32. Subsequent Patient Visits. HFHS will implement policies and procedures to expedite arrangements for the provision of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services when a Patient or Companion requests appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services for subsequent visits to HFHS. Hospital Personnel shall keep appropriate records that reflect the provision of auxiliary aids and services to Patients and Companions, such as notations in Patients' medical charts. Such records should document whether or not any particular auxiliary aids and services (or individual interpreters) provided effective communication. During a Patient or Companion's subsequent visit, Hospital Personnel will reference the Patient's prior medical records, where available, as part of the Communication Determination required by paragraph 29.
  33. Medical Concerns. Nothing in this Settlement Agreement will require that an electronic device or equipment constituting an appropriate auxiliary aid be used when or where its use may interfere with medical or monitoring equipment or may otherwise constitute a threat to the Patient's medical condition. Similarly, nothing in this Settlement Agreement shall be construed to require Hospital Personnel or HFHS to take any action or inaction (including without limitation delaying or refraining from assessing or treating a Patient) if taking the action or inaction would jeopardize the safety of a Patient, adversely affect the Patient's condition, interfere with sound medical judgment or professional practice or compromise the quality of a Patient's medical care.
  34. Determination Not to Provide Auxiliary Aid or Service. If, after conducting a determination, HFHS determines that the circumstances do not warrant provision of a particular auxiliary aid or service. Hospital Personnel will so advise the person requesting the auxiliary aid or service and will document the date and time of the denial, the name and title of Hospital Personnel making the determination, and the basis for the determination. A copy of this documentation will be provided to the Patient (and Companion, if applicable); will be maintained with the Auxiliary Aid and Service Log described in paragraph 37of this Settlement Agreement; and will be placed in the Patient's medical chart. Any determination to provide an interpreter through VRI when a Patient or Companion has requested an on-site interpreter also will be documented. It is understood that, even if HFHS determines that a particular auxiliary aid or service is not to be provided, some means of effective communication must be secured.
  35. Prohibition of Surcharges for Patients or Companions. All appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services required by this Settlement Agreement will be provided free of charge to the Patient and/or Companion.
  36. Individual Notice in Absence of Request. If a Patient and/or Companion does not request appropriate Auxiliary Aids or Services, but Hospital Personnel have reason to believe, after conducting the determination described in paragraph 29 of this Settlement Agreement, that such person would benefit from appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services for effective communication, HFHS will specifically inform the Patient and/or Companion that appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services are available free of charge.
  37. Auxiliary Aid and Service Log. Each HFHS facility or service will maintain a log of: (a) each request for an appropriate Auxiliary Aid and Service; (b) the type of auxiliary aid or service requested; (c) the time and date the request is made; (d) the name of the Patient (and Companion, if applicable); (e) the time and date of the scheduled appointment (if a scheduled appointment was made); (f) the name of HFHS Personnel who performed any communication determination or redetermination; (g) the name of any HFHS Personnel responsible for determining whether or not to provide the requested appropriate Auxiliary Aid or Service; (h) the nature of the auxiliary aid or service provided; (i) the time and date the appropriate Auxiliary Aid and Service was provided, or a statement that the appropriate Auxiliary Aid and Service was not provided and the reason why the aid or service was not provided. Such logs will be maintained by the Program Facilitators for the entire duration of the Settlement Agreement, and will be incorporated into the semi-annual Compliance Reports, as described in paragraph 78 of this Settlement Agreement.
  38. Communication with Patients and Companions. HFHS will take appropriate steps to ensure that all Hospital Personnel having contact with a Patient or a Companion are made aware of such person's need for an appropriate Auxiliary Aid and Service so that effective communication with such person will be achieved. In addition, HFHS will take appropriate steps to ensure that all Hospital Personnel having contact with a Patient or Companion are aware of: (a) HFHS's policies and procedures implementing this Settlement Agreement and the ADA; (b) HFHS's policies and procedures governing requests for appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services by Patients and Companions; and (c) the role of the Program Administrators described in paragraph 27 of this Settlement Agreement.
  39. Complaint Resolution. HFHS will maintain an effective complaint process for the resolution of disputes regarding auxiliary aids and services for Patients and Companions. HFHS will maintain records of all such complaints, whether oral or written, made to HFHS and actions taken with respect thereto. HFHS will notify Patients and Companions of its complaint resolution mechanism, to whom complaints should be made, and of the right to receive a written response to the complaint. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint, HFHS will provide a written response to the complaint and will provide a copy of the complaint and the response to the United States. Copies of all complaints or notes reflecting oral complaints concerning the need for or use of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services and the responses thereto will be maintained by the Program Facilitators and ADA Administrator for the entire duration of the Settlement Agreement. The United States has been provided a copy of HFHS's Grievance Policy in effect as of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and acknowledges that it meets the requirements for an effective complaint resolution process under this paragraph.

    Provision of Qualified Interpreters

  40. Circumstances Under Which Interpreters Will Be Provided. HFHS will provide qualified sign language interpreters to Patients and Companions whose primary means of communication is sign language, and qualified oral interpreters to such Patients and Companions who rely primarily on lip reading, as necessary for effective communication. The determination of when such interpreters shall be provided to Patients or Companions will be made as set forth in paragraphs 28 through 30 above. The following are examples of circumstances when it may be necessary to provide interpreters:
    1. determination of a Patient's medical history or description of ailment or injury;
    2. provision of Patients' rights, informed consent or permission for treatment;
    3. determination and explanation of Patient's diagnosis or prognosis, and current condition;
    4. explanation of procedures, tests, treatment, treatment options or surgery;
    5. religious services and spiritual counseling provided by HFHS;
    6. explanation of living wills or powers of attorney (or their availability);
    7. diagnosis or prognosis of ailments or injuries;
    8. explanation of medications prescribed (such as dosage, instructions for how and when the medication is to be taken, and side effects or food or drug interactions);
    9. determination of any condition or allergy of Patient that may affect choice of medication;
    10. explanation regarding follow-up treatments, therapies, test results or recovery;
    11. blood donations or apheresis (removal of blood components);
    12. discharge planning and discharge instructions;
    13. provision of mental health evaluations, group or individual therapy, counseling and other therapeutic activities, including, but not limited to, grief counseling and crisis intervention;
    14. explanation of complex billing or insurance issues that may arise;
    15. educational presentations, such as classes concerning birthing, nutrition, CPR, and weight management;
    16. filing of administrative complaints or grievances against Hospital Personnel or HFHS; and
    17. any other circumstance in which a qualified sign language interpreter is necessary to ensure a Patient's rights provided by law.
  41. The foregoing list of circumstances is neither exhaustive nor mandatory, and shall not imply that there are not other circumstances when it may be appropriate to provide interpreters for effective communication or that an interpreter must always be provided in these circumstances.
  42. Contract for Obtaining Interpreters. HFHS will enter into a contract with a sufficient number of reputable interpreter(s) and/or interpreter agency(ies) to provide qualified interpreters. Each such contract will, at a minimum, require the interpreter or agency to use good faith efforts to maintain a response time of one (1) hour or less (plus travel time) in at least eighty percent (80%) of non-scheduled incidents within any six (6) month period, measured from the time the call is placed to the interpreter or agency.
  43. Staff Interpreters. HFHS may, but shall have no obligation to, satisfy its obligations under this Settlement Agreement by hiring or otherwise contracting with qualified staff interpreters. Staff interpreters must meet the definition of "qualified interpreters." Patients and Companions who are provided with staff interpreters must have the same level of coverage (for both duration and frequency) as HFHS is otherwise obligated to provide under this Settlement Agreement. HFHS may assign other duties to staff interpreters. To the extent that HFHS does not have staff interpreters or a staff interpreter is not available when needed, HFHS will follow the procedures set forth elsewhere in this Settlement Agreement to obtain the services of qualified interpreters.

    Provision of Interpreters in a Timely Manner

  44. Scheduled Incidents. For Scheduled Incidents, where an interpreter is necessary to ensure effective communication, HFHS may have VRI, or other appropriate auxiliary aids or services, available at the time of the scheduled appointment or will arrange to have an on-site interpreter available if an on-site interpreter is necessary in order to achieve effective communication (including situations identified in Paragraph 51 in which VRI or other auxiliary aids or services are not effective). "Scheduled Incidents" are situations in which there are two (2) or more hours between the time when a Patient or Companion makes a request for an interpreter and when the services of the interpreter are required (or four (4) or more hours if a request is made between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or on a weekend or a holiday). If an interpreter fails to arrive for the Scheduled Incident, HFHS will immediately call the interpreter service for another qualified sign language interpreter upon notice that the interpreter failed to arrive. Similarly, when making a qualified interpreter available, Hospital Personnel shall clearly identify the interpreter's availability and make immediate efforts to locate a replacement interpreter if it appears that the original interpreter will not be able to stay throughout the Scheduled Incident.
  45. Non-scheduled Interpreter Requests; Time Standards. "Non-scheduled interpreter requests" means a request for an interpreter in which there are less than two (2) hours between the time when a Patient or Companion makes a request for an interpreter and when the services of the interpreter are required (or less than four (4) hours if a request is made between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or on a weekend or a holiday). After receiving a non-scheduled interpreter request, and determining in accordance with paragraph 29 that an on-site interpreter is necessary, HFHS willl make an interpreter available as soon as practicable. Hospital Personnel will make the request for an interpreter within fifteen (15) minutes after completing a determination described in paragraph 29, above, that determines that an on-site interpreter is necessary. Hospital Personnel will also make such a request within fifteen (15) minutes of any situation identified in Paragraph 51 where VRI or other auxiliary aids or services are not effective. HFHS will meet the following overall time standards for providing qualified sign language interpreters to Patients and/or Companions. HFHS will maintain a response time of one (1) hour (plus travel time) in eighty percent (80%) of non-scheduled interpreter requests within any six (6) month period. Whether this standard is met will be measured beginning (15) minutes after it is determined that an interpreter is required. In no event will HFHS's response time exceed three (3) hours, except when HFHS has been unable to obtain the services of an on-site interpreter after a prompt, diligent effort to comply with all of the requirements of this Settlement Agreement.
  46. Specific Steps for Non-scheduled Interpreter Requests. Within fifteen (15) minutes after completing a determination (as described in paragraph 28) that finds that interpreting services are required, Hospital Personnel will provide VRI or other appropriate auxiliary aids or services. Within 15 minutes after completing a determination (as described in paragraph 29) that determines that an on-site interpreter is required, Hospital Personnel will request an interpreter (qualified to interpret for the specific individual who will be using the services) from the interpreters or agencies with whom HFHS has an ongoing contract for qualified interpreter services. If no interpreter can be located, Hospital Personnel will take the following additional steps:
    1. Hospital Personnel will exert reasonable efforts (which shall be deemed to require no fewer than five (5) telephone inquiries and/or emails and/or text messages unless exceptional circumstances intervene) to contact any interpreters or interpreting agencies already known to HFHS and request their services;
    2. inform a Program Administrator of the efforts made to locate an interpreter and solicit assistance in locating an interpreter;
    3. inform the Patient or Companion (or a family member or friend, if the Patient or Companion is unavailable) of the efforts taken to secure a qualified interpreter and that the efforts have failed, and follow up on reasonable suggestions for alternate sources of interpreters, such as contacting an interpreter known to that person; and
    4. document all of the above efforts.
  47. Provision of Qualified Interpreters Throughout a Hospitalization. HFHS will develop a policy and implement procedures to ensure that once a Patient has been admitted to HFHS and the determination described in paragraph 29 of this Settlement Agreement has determined that a qualified sign language interpreter is necessary to achieve effective communication during the hospitalization of the Patient, qualified interpreters are made available at all events requiring substantial communication between the Patient and HFHS Personnel. It is highly likely that such events will include post-surgical sessions, doctor rounds, discharge meetings, and other physician-Patient meetings, as well as for the performance of any tests, procedures or therapy. A Patient will not be required to renew requests for a qualified interpreter for these events. In the case of Companions, HFHS will provide a qualified interpreter for any event that the Companion will attend provided that HFHS Personnel are advised in a reasonably timely fashion that the Companion will be present at the event. HFHS will provide notice to all Patients and Companions of this policy.
  48. Data Collection on Interpreter Response Time and Effectiveness: Feedback Forms. HFHS will monitor the performance of qualified sign language interpreters it uses to provide communication to Patients or Companions. As part of the Auxiliary Aid and Service Log, described in paragraph 37 of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will collect information regarding response times for requesting for an interpreter. HFHS will also prepare a form requesting feedback concerning the timeliness and effectiveness of interpreter services. This feedback form shall be provided to each Patient or Companion who requests an interpreter or receives the services of an interpreter. HFHS will use the feedback forms for monitoring and evaluating the performance of each interpreter it provides to Patients and Companions. The Program Facilitators will maintain the completed feedback forms for the term of this Settlement Agreement.
  49. Video Remote Interpreting. Video remote interpreting (VRI) can provide immediate, effective access to interpreting services seven days per week, twenty-four hours a day in a variety of situations including scheduled incidents, emergencies, and unplanned incidents and can also be used as a stop-gap measure until a qualified interpreter is available. When using video remote interpreting, HFHS will ensure that: (a) the service delivers high quality, clear, delay-free full-motion video and audio over a dedicated high-speed Internet connection; (b) the service provides a clear and sharply delineated picture of the interpreter's and the Patient's or Companion's heads, arms, hands, and fingers, regardless of the body position of the Patient or Companion; (c) voices being transmitted are clear and easily understood; and (d) the interpreter providing VRI is a qualified interpreter who is capable of communicating effectively with the Patient or Companion. HFHS shall comply with all the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(f).
  50. In the event HFHS utilizes VRIs an auxiliary aid or service, HFHS will ensure that its staff is trained and able to operate and connect to VRI quickly and efficiently and that the services are available at HFHS at all times. HFHS should connect the service within fifteen (15) minutes of a determination. Moreover, HFHS will train staff regarding the limitations of the technology, particularly with respect to: (a) Patients who have limited ability to move their heads, hands, or arms; vision problems; cognitive or consciousness issues; or pain issues; (b) Patients who may be moved repeatedly to areas of HFHS that do not have a designated high speed Internet line; and (c) Patients who will be treated in rooms where space considerations militate against using the service. Once the system is operating, Hospital Personnel shall ask the Patient or Companion whether VRI is meeting his or her communication needs and make a record of his or her response.
  51. In the event that the Patient or Companion indicates that he/she is unable to communicate effectively using VRI or other appropriate auxiliary aids or services, Hospital Personnel will: (a) document the concern; (b) make all reasonable efforts to locate a qualified sign language interpreter or other auxiliary aid or service that will provide effective communication; (c) document all such efforts; and (d) periodically inform the Patient/Companion of the status of those efforts.
  52. Force Majeure. The foregoing response times are subject to "force majeure" events, i.e., any response time that is delayed because of a force majeure event is excluded from the determination whether the prescribed response criteria have been met. Force majeure events are events outside the reasonable control of HFHS, the interpreter service provider or the interpreter called to respond, such as weather problems, unanticipated illness or injury of the interpreter while en route to HFHS, unanticipated Internet or telephone problems, and unanticipated transportation problems (including, without limitation, mechanical failure of the interpreter's automobile, automobile accidents and roadway obstructions, other than routine traffic or congestion).
  53. Modification of Performance Standards. In the event that the response time standards described in paragraphs 44 and 45 of this Settlement Agreement cannot be maintained despite HFHS's good faith efforts, HFHS is entitled to request the consent of the United States to such modifications of the response time standards as may be reasonable under the circumstances. The United States will consider any such request reasonably and in good faith and will not deny its approval unreasonably. Any such modification to which the parties agree will be deemed an amendment to this Settlement Agreement.
  54. Notice to Patients and Companions. As soon as Hospital Personnel have determined that an interpreter is necessary for effective communication with a Patient or a Companion, and within one hour, HFHS will inform such person (or a family member or friend, if such person is not available) of the current status of efforts being taken to secure the appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services on his or her behalf. Additional updates shall be provided thereafter as necessary until such aids and services are secured. Notification of efforts to secure a qualified interpreter does not diminish HFHS's obligation to provide qualified interpreters in a timely manner as required by paragraphs 44 and 45 of this Settlement Agreement.
  55. Other Means of Communication. HFHS agrees that between the times an interpreter is requested and when an interpreter arrives, Hospital Personnel will continue to try to communicate with the Patient or Companion for such purposes as they would have communicated with the person but for the hearing impairment, using all available methods of communication. Such means of communication may include, but are not limited to, VRI, written notes, sign language pictographs, or other electronic means. This provision in no way lessens HFHS's obligation to provide qualified interpreters in a timely manner as required by this Settlement Agreement. Once an interpreter arrives, the Hospital Personnel will ensure that the Patient or Companion has a reasonable understanding of the care already provided and the current treatment plan.
  56. Restricted Use of Certain Persons to Facilitate Communication. Due to confidentiality, potential emotional involvement, and other factors that may adversely affect the ability to facilitate communication, HFHS will never require or coerce a family member, companion, case manager, advocate, or friend of a Patient or Companion who is deaf or hard-of-hearing to interpret or facilitate communications between Hospital Personnel and such Patient or Companion. In any case, such person shall be used to interpret or facilitate communication only if the Patient or Companion does not object, if such person wishes to provide such assistance, and if such use is necessary or appropriate under the circumstances, giving appropriate consideration to any privacy issues that may arise. A Patient or Companion's waiver of a qualified sign language interpreter under this provision must be made in the Patient's chart or records. This provision in no way lessens HFHS's obligation to provide appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services as required under this Settlement Agreement or to comply with 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(c)(3).

    Telephones and Related Equipment

  57. Public Telephones. As soon as practicable but no later than ninety (90) days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will provide the following:
    1. TTY's in public areas. HFHS will make a TTY device available wherever a telephone is made available to the public (whether public pay telephone, public closed circuit telephone, or otherwise). To satisfy this provision, HFHS can permanently install the required TTY's or make available at least one portable TTY per facility. Standards §§ 4.1, 4.31.9. Each such TTY, whether permanently installed or portable, shall comply fully with §§ 4.30 and 4.31 of the Standards.
    2. TTY's required in specific locations. HFHS will provide a TTY at each public telephone location in or adjacent to an emergency department, recovery room, or waiting room. Standards §§ 4.1, 4.31.9. To satisfy this provision, HFHS can permanently install the required TTY's or make available at least one portable TTY per facility. Each such TTY, whether permanently installed or portable, will comply fully with §§ 4.30 and 4.31 of the Standards.
    3. Shelves and outlets. Wherever portable TTY's are made available as an alternative to installed TTY's (at emergency departments, recovery rooms, and waiting rooms, and where there are banks of four or more public telephones), and wherever there is a bank of three or more public telephones, HFHS will provide shelves and electrical outlets that comply with § 4.31.9 of the Standards.
    4. Signs indicating the location of TTY's.
      1. Wherever public telephones are available but TTY's are not permanently installed, HFHS will post signs complying with the Standards. Such signs will indicate the location of the nearest portable or permanently installed TTY's; and
      2. Wherever TTY's are permanently installed, HFHS will post signs complying with § 4.30 of the Standards to indicate their location.
    5. Volume control telephones. HFHS will ensure that no less than twenty-five (25) percent of all public telephones are equipped with volume control mechanisms, plus at least one public telephone at each of the following locations: in or adjacent to emergency departments, recovery rooms, and waiting rooms. Each volume control telephone shall comply with § 4.31.5 of the Standards. HFHS will ensure that volume control phones are dispersed among all public telephones throughout HFHS. HFHS will ensure that signs complying with § 4.30 of the Standards are displayed at each volume control telephone. Alternatively, if all public telephones are equipped with volume control mechanisms, HFHS may satisfy this requirement by prominently displaying signs in diverse locations throughout HFHS that state this fact.
    6. Storage and availability of equipment. Portable equipment required by this section for use in public areas shall be stored in a place or places that are readily accessible to all Hospital Personnel who have client contact at all times of the day and night. All Hospital Personnel will be notified of the storage location that is closest to their work area(s). The equipment is to be stored at the appropriate supervised location (e.g., nurses' station, admission desk, switchboard, etc.) closest to the public phone for which the equipment is to be made available. Such equipment shall be made available to individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing as soon as practicable but no more than fifteen (15) minutes from the time of the person's request; except to the extent that it would compromise good medical care and/or the safety of other patients at HFHS. The Administrator and Facilitators (as discussed in paragraph 27) will be responsible for ensuring that this equipment remains readily accessible.
  58. Telephones in Patient Rooms. Within ninety (90) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement:
    1. Portable access technology - defined. HFHS will make available portable access technology. Such technology, as referred to in this section, shall include TTY's with printout capability, other electronic devices, visual notification devices for incoming telephone calls, volume control telephones, and telephones that are hearing aid compatible. HFHS will ensure that each volume control telephone and each visual notification device for incoming telephone calls complies fully with § 4.31 of the Standards.
    2. Portable access technology - general obligation. HFHS will make portable access technology available to Patients and Companions who are deaf or hard-of-hearing who are admitted to (or are accompanying Patients who are admitted to) rooms equipped with a telephone. In units of HFHS where patients normally do not have telephones in their rooms, if hearing patients are given access to common area telephones other than the public phones identified in this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will maintain appropriate portable access technology that can be used by Patients and Companions so that such persons have equal access to make outgoing calls and receive incoming calls as do hearing persons.
    3. Electrical Outlets. Each patient room with a telephone shall have an electrical outlet within four (4) feet of the telephone connection to facilitate the use of a TTY device.
    4. Timeliness. Within ninety (90) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will make the equipment required by this section available within thirty (30) minutes of a Patient's arrival in a patient room, regardless of the hour of the day or night. HFHS will notify all relevant Hospital Personnel of the availability and location of this equipment.

    Captioning and Decoders

  59. Televisions and Caption Decoders. Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will develop a policy to ensure that Patients and Companions with hearing impairments have priority use of televisions with closed captioning capabilities. 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(e).
  60. Clearly stated directions for use of the closed caption capability shall be included in the Patient Guide or otherwise made available in each patient room or public area containing a television with captioning capability. The directions for operating the closed caption function shall also accompany all closed caption decoders for standard television sets.
  61. Duty to Provide Visual Programs in a Manner That is Accessible to Persons With Hearing Impairments.
    1. Beginning no later than ninety (90) days from the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, if HFHS solicits a third party, parent company, or affiliated health care provider to produce or provide video programs that may be broadcast within HFHS to Patients or Companions, HFHS will ensure that the program is captioned, unless, under the circumstances, doing so would impose an undue burden. 28 C.F.R. § 36.303. Commercial videos available to the general public shall not be subject to this requirement.
    2. Beginning no later that ninety (90) days from the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, if HFHS produces internally a pre-recorded program for broadcast to Patients and Companions within HFHS, HFHS will ensure that the program is made accessible to Patients and Companions, whether by captioning such program or by providing a transcript or sign language interpreter whenever it is viewed by a Patient or Companion. If the program is not captioned, the method of access delivery must be tailored to the needs of the Patient or Companion. For instance, if the person does not know sign language, HFHS may provide effective communication through a transcript. In most circumstances, captioning will be regarded as providing effective communication with all deaf or hard-of-hearing persons, regardless of the communication skills and history of such persons (though repeated screenings may be necessary, if the deaf or hard-of-hearing person cannot read English at the rate required to keep pace with the audible portion of the program). If, however, the contents of a program are sufficiently important to require precise communication of its contents, HFHS will take additional measures to ensure effective communication.
    3. Beginning no later than ninety (90) days from the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, if HFHS produces its own live broadcasts for Patients and Companions, it will make the majority of such programs accessible to Patients and Companions. Captioning is one way, but not the only way, to accomplish this objective. HFHS can also choose to provide sign language interpreters (if the deaf or hard-of-hearing person uses sign language), written scripts prepared in advance of the live broadcast, or Hospital Personnel that assist in making the broadcast accessible. In order to determine which programs should be captioned, HFHS may prioritize and consider such factors as the importance and length of the program, as well as any significant difficulty or expense in captioning the program or displaying the captions, given the location of its filming or viewing.

    Miscellaneous Technology Provisions

  62. Client Education. HFHS will ensure that each Patient and Companion who is provided with portable access technology is appropriately directed as to the proper use of such equipment.
  63. Acquisition of Additional Equipment. In addition to the equipment required above, HFHS will purchase and/or rent such additional equipment as is reasonably needed to replace defective units as soon as practicable. HFHS will also monitor developments in technology and shall upgrade such equipment when and if it deems it reasonable and appropriate to do so.

    NOTICE TO COMMUNITY

  64. Policy Statement. Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will add the following statement to the signs it has posted throughout its emergency rooms and admitting areas notifying persons with difficulty hearing or speaking to ask a staff member for help: Sign language and oral interpreters, TTY's, assistive listening devices, and/or other Auxiliary Aids and Services are available free of charge to Patients and Companions who need them for effective communication. For assistance, please contact any Hospital personnel or the program office at ____________ (voice/TTY), room ____________. International signs for accessibility, including the international symbols for "interpreters" and "TTY's," will be posted near the policy. This statement also shall be placed in a prominent location on HFHS's website.
  65. Advertisements. Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will take appropriate steps to publicize in the community HFHS's commitment to provide all of its services to Patients and Companions. Such publicity shall be deemed satisfied by the purchase of reasonable advertising space at least twice in newspapers of general circulation serving the same community as is served by HFHS, which advertisements will include a statement that, consistent with federal law, all appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTY's, and assistive listening devices, will be provided free of charge upon request, and include appropriate instructions regarding access to the Program Administrators at HFHS. HFHS shall post this statement on its website within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement. Annually thereafter, HFHS will take reasonable steps to publicize the existence of the program to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
  66. Patient Communication. HFHS will include in all future printings (if any) of its Patient Rights (or equivalent) and all similar publications a statement to the following effect: "To ensure effective communication with Patients and their Companions who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or who have speech impairments, consistent with federal law, we provide appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services free of charge, such as: sign language and oral interpreters, TTY's, note-takers, computer-assisted real time transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices and systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, and open and closed captioning of most Hospital programs. Please ask your nurse or other Hospital Personnel for assistance, or contact the Program Facilitator at _________________ (voice or TTY), room __________." The Patient Rights (if printed in the future) shall also reference and describe HFHS's complaint resolution process. HFHS will provide all Patients or Companions who come into contact with Hospital Personnel at the Emergency Department with a copy of these rights as soon as practicable after their arrival at the Emergency Department. The information required by this paragraph shall be included on HFHS's website within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement.
  67. Information Made Available in ASL. Within one hundred eighty (180) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will make the following information available in American Sign Language (ASL) using videotape, DVD, or CD-ROM format:
    1. the Patient's Bill of Rights;
    2. health care directives;
    3. information regarding HFHS's policies and procedures governing free sign language interpreter services, including the contents of HFHS's feedback form concerning the effectiveness and timeliness of interpreters that HFHS provides; and
    4. complaint resolution procedures.

    Alternatively, HFHS can comply with this provision by offering to have this information interpreted into ASL by a qualified interpreter, or via VRI or other appropriate auxiliary aids or services, provided that this is documented in the Patient's medical records.

    NOTICE TO HOSPITAL PERSONNEL AND PHYSICIANS

  68. HFHS shall publish, in an appropriate form, a written policy statement regarding HFHS's policy for effective communication with Patients or Companions for use by persons working at HFHS. This policy statement shall include, but is not limited to, language to the following effect: If you recognize or have any reason to believe that a patient, relative, close friend or companion of a patient is deaf or hard-of-hearing, you must advise the person that appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services, such as sign language and oral interpreters, TTY's, note takers, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices and systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, televisions with captioning or closed caption decoders, and open or closed captioning of most hospital programs, will be provided free of charge if such aids or services are necessary to ensure effective communication. If you are the responsible health care provider, you must ensure that such aids and services are provided when appropriate. All other personnel should direct that person to the appropriate Program Administrator at ____ and reachable at ______. This offer and advice must likewise be made in response to any overt request for appropriate Auxiliary Aids or Services. HFHS will distribute its policy statement within thirty (30) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement to all Hospital Personnel and both employed and affiliated physicians (physicians with practicing or admitting privileges), and to all new Hospital Personnel (including newly employed or affiliated physicians) upon their affiliation or employment with HFHS. In addition, this statement will also be distributed either hard copy or electronically to all Hospital Personnel (including all employed and affiliated physicians) on an annual basis.

    TRAINING

  69. Training of Program Administrator and Facilitators. HFHS will provide special mandatory training for the Program Administrator and Facilitators within sixty (60) days of designation as provided in paragraph 27 of this Settlement Agreement. Such training will be sufficient in duration and content to train the Program Administrator and Facilitators in:
    1. the health care needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing;
    2. the various degrees of hearing impairment, language, and cultural diversity in the deaf community;
    3. identification of communication needs of persons who are deaf;
    4. the unique needs and problems encountered by late-deafened individuals;
    5. the psychological implications of deafness and its relationship to interaction with hearing health care professionals;
    6. recommended and required charting procedures governing requests for appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services;
    7. types of auxiliary aids and services available in the community and HFHS;
    8. the proper use and role of qualified sign language interpreters;
    9. making and receiving calls through TTY's and the relay service;
    10. HFHS's complaint resolution procedure described in paragraph 38 of this Settlement Agreement; and
    11. any other applicable requirements of this Settlement Agreement.
  70. Training of Emergency Department Personnel. HFHS will provide special mandatory in-service training to Hospital Personnel (other than physicians or other members of HFHS Medical Staff who are not employed by HFHS, to whom the training shall be offered under paragraph 71) who have Patient responsibility and who work or volunteer in the emergency department. The training will address the special needs of Patients and Companions and will include the following objectives:
    1. to promptly identify communication needs and preferences of deaf or hard-of-hearing persons;
    2. to conduct the determination required by paragraph 29 of this Settlement Agreement;
    3. to meet all of the documentation obligations set forth in this Settlement Agreement;
    4. to secure qualified interpreter services as quickly as possible when necessary; and
    5. to use, when appropriate, flash cards, pictographs, and VRI (in conjunction with any other available means of communication that will augment the effectiveness of the communication). Such training must be provided no later than 90 days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and will be conducted annually thereafter.
  71. Training of Physicians. HFHS will provide specialized mandatory in-service training to all physicians who are members of HFHS's active medical staff and who do not receive the training discussed in paragraph 70. This training will include the following objectives:
    1. to promptly identify communication needs and preferences of Patients and Companions;
    2. to secure qualified interpreter services as quickly as possible when necessary; and
    3. to ensure that their staff members notify HFHS and the Program Facilitators about Patients and Companions as soon as possible after scheduling admissions, tests, surgeries, or other health care services at HFHS.

    Such training must be offered no later than 120 days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and will be required for each active medical staff member in conjunction with the initial or biennial recredentialling process.

  72. Training of Psychiatric Personnel and Social Workers. HFHS will provide specialized mandatory in-service training to Hospital Personnel with Patient responsibility, who work in the Department of Psychiatry (or its equivalent) or are members of the Social Work Department (or its equivalent). This training will include the following objectives:
    1. to promptly identify communication needs and preferences of Patients and Companions;
    2. to secure qualified interpreter services as quickly as possible when necessary; and
    3. to facilitate appropriate interaction between Patients and other patients, when appropriate (e.g., group therapy sessions and other times when interaction with persons other than Hospital Personnel is encouraged). Such training must be provided no later than 120 days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and will be conducted annually thereafter.
  73. Training of Telephone Operators. All Hospital Personnel who receive incoming telephone calls from the public will receive special instructions on using TTY's or relay services to make, receive and transfer telephone calls, and will receive training generally on the existence in HFHS of Program Administrator and Facilitators, as detailed in paragraph 27 of this Settlement Agreement, and the complaint resolution process, as described in paragraph 39 of this Settlement Agreement. Such training must be provided no later than 60 days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and will be conducted annually thereafter.
  74. Training of Other Key Personnel. HFHS will also provide special ADA training to the following Hospital Personnel not otherwise trained as provided above: all clinical directors and nursing managers; personnel who staff the admissions desk (or its equivalent for in-patient registration), a central registry desk (or its equivalent for out-patient registration), and/or a general information desk; all triage nurses and other triage professionals; and heads of each department in which communication with Patients and Companions occurs. Hospital Personnel responsible for billing and insurance issues who routinely interact with Patients and Companions will receive special training on the availability of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services and the existence in HFHS of Program Administrator and Facilitators, as described in paragraph 27 of this Settlement Agreement. Such training must be provided no later than 120 days after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and will be conducted annually thereafter.
  75. Training of New Employees. HFHS will provide the training specified above to new Hospital Personnel within thirty (30) days after the commencement of their services for HFHS. Such training must be comparable to training provided to specific departments as necessary. A screening of a video of the original training will suffice to meet this obligation.
  76. Training Attendance Sheets. HFHS will maintain, for the duration of this agreement, a record of all training conducted pursuant to paragraphs 69-75 of this Settlement Agreement, which will include the names and respective job titles of the attendees, as well as the date, time, and location of the training session. Although all of the training described in paragraphs 69-75 should be conducted live whenever possible, HFHS may satisfy the training requirement for individuals who are unable to attend live training, by other means used to facilitate mandatory education within HFHS.

    REPORTING, MONITORING, AND VIOLATIONS

  77. Patient Feedback. HFHS will develop a form to collect feedback from Patients and Companions regarding the provision of auxiliary aids and services. Such a form will assess Patient and Companion satisfaction with the quality of the Auxiliary Aids and Services provided, the effectiveness of communication with Hospital Personnel, and response times.
  78. Compliance Reports. Beginning three months after the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement and every six months thereafter for the entire duration of the Settlement Agreement, HFHS will provide a written report ("Compliance Report") to the United States regarding the status of its compliance with this Settlement Agreement. The Compliance Report will include data relevant to the Settlement Agreement, including, but not limited to:
    1. the number of requests for qualified sign language interpreters received by HFHS from Patients and Companions;
    2. the number of times a qualified sign language interpreter was provided by HFHS;
    3. the number of times HFHS denied a request for a qualified sign language interpreter and the reason for each denial;
    4. the number of requests for other auxiliary aids or services received by HFHS from Patients or Companions;
    5. The number of times auxiliary aids or services were provided by HFHS, a description of the aids or services provided, and the amount of time it took for HFHS to provide the auxiliary aids and services;
    6. the number of times HFHS denied any requests for other auxiliary aids or services, a description of the aid or service that was denied, and the reason for each denial;
    7. the number of times a request for a qualified sign language interpreter was accepted by HFHS, but the interpreter failed to appear, and the reasons for the failure;
    8. the date and the time a qualified sign language interpreter was requested by a Patient or Companion, the date and time the interpreter arrived, and the date and time the interpreter actually began interpreting for such Patient or Companion;
    9. an explanation of the reasons for the delays in obtaining qualified sign language interpreters in those cases where the response times failed to comply with the time frames described in paragraphs 44 and 45 of this Settlement Agreement; and
    10. the number of redeterminations performed pursuant to paragraph 31 and the results of these redeterminations;
    11. the number of complaints received by HFHS from Patients and Companions regarding appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services and/or effective communication, and the resolution of such complaints including any supporting documents.
    12. documentation of compliance with all of the training and technology provisions of this Settlement Agreement;
    13. copies of all feedback forms referenced in paragraph 48; and
    14. copies of all logs referenced in paragraph 37.

    HFHS will maintain appropriate records to document the information contained in the Compliance Reports and will make them available, upon request, to the United States as allowed by state and federal law.

  79. Complaints. During the Term of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will notify the U.S. Attorney's Office if any person commences a lawsuit, complaint, charge, or grievance alleging that HFHS failed to provide appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services to Patients or Companions or otherwise failed to provide effective communication with such Patients or Companions. Such notification must be provided in writing via certified mail within thirty (30) days of the date HFHS received notice of the allegation and will include, at a minimum, the nature of the allegation, the name of the person making the allegation, and any documentation possessed by HFHS relevant to the allegation. HFHS will reference this provision of the Settlement Agreement in the notification to the United States.

    COMPENSATORY RELIEF FOR COMPLAINANTS AND RELEASE

  80. Within ten (10) days of the Effective Date of this Settlement Agreement, HFHS will pay $70,000.00 in compensation to the surviving complainants, Debra Miller and Patricia Miller-Kryzaniak. HFHS will send a check made payable to Debra Miller for $35,000.00, and a check made payable to Patricia Miller-Kryzaniak for $35,000.00, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or via hand delivery, to the United States. These checks are compensation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B), for the effects of the alleged discrimination suffered as described in paragraph 6. The checks shall be mailed to: U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, 950 Pennsylvania, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.
  81. Within ten (10) days of receipt of the checks, and before delivering the checks to the complainants referenced in Paragraph 80 of this Settlement Agreement, the United States will deliver to counsel for HFHS releases signed by each of the complainants.

    ENFORCEMENT AND MISCELLANEOUS

  82. Duration of the Settlement Agreement. This Settlement Agreement will be in effect for two (2) years from the Effective Date.
  83. Changing Circumstances. During the term in which this Settlement Agreement will be in effect, there may be a change in circumstances such as, for example and without limitation, an increased or decreased availability of qualified sign language or oral interpreters or developments in technology to assist or improve communications with persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. If HFHS determines that such changes create opportunities for communicating with Patients and Companions more efficiently or effectively than is required under this Settlement Agreement, or create difficulties not presently contemplated in the provision of appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services, it may propose changes to this Settlement Agreement by presenting written proposals to the United States. Such changes will then be made to the Settlement Agreement if the United States, upon review, grants its approval, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  84. Enforcement. The Attorney General is authorized, pursuant to section 308(b)(1)(B) of the ADA, to bring a civil action under Title III, enforcing the ADA in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the terms of this Settlement Agreement as set forth above, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing a civil suit under Title III in this matter, except as provided in paragraphs 85 and 86, below. Nothing contained in this Settlement Agreement is intended or shall be construed as a waiver by the United States of any right to institute proceedings against HFHS for violations of any statutes, regulations, or rules administered by the United States or to prevent or limit the right of the United States to obtain relief for other violations of the ADA.
  85. Review of Compliance. The United States may review compliance with this Settlement Agreement at any time and can enforce this Settlement Agreement if the United States believes that it or any requirement thereof has been violated by instituting a civil action in U.S. District Court. If the United States believes that this Settlement Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, the United States will raise its concern(s) in writing with HFHS and the parties will attempt to resolve the concern(s) in good faith. The United States will allow HFHS thirty (30) days from the date it notifies HFHS of any breach of this Settlement Agreement to cure said breach, prior to instituting any court action to enforce the ADA and the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
  86. Violations. If HFHS violates this Settlement Agreement, the United States shall have all such remedies as are allowed under the ADA. The parties agree that in any subsequent legal proceedings the court may treat any violation of this Settlement Agreement as a first violation of the ADA for the purpose of calculating civil penalties, if any.
  87. Entire Agreement. This Settlement Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written agreement, shall be enforceable. This Settlement Agreement is limited to the facts set forth herein and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law.
  88. Binding. This Settlement Agreement is final and binding on the parties, including all principals, agents, executors, administrators, representatives, successors in interest, beneficiaries, assigns, heirs and legal representatives thereof. Each party has a duty to so inform any such successor in interest.
  89. Non-Waiver. Failure by any party to seek enforcement of this Settlement Agreement pursuant to its terms with respect to any instance or provision shall not be construed as a waiver to such enforcement with regard to other instances or provisions.
  90. Execution of Agreement. The undersigned counsel represent that they have been fully authorized to enter into and execute this Settlement Agreement under the terms and conditions contained herein.
  91. Availability of Settlement Agreement. This Settlement Agreement may be made available to any person upon request.
  92. Severability. In the event that a Court shall determine that any provision of this Settlement Agreement is unenforceable, such provision shall be severed from this Settlement Agreement and all other provisions shall remain valid and enforceable, provided, however, that if the severance of any such provision shall materially alter the rights or obligations of the Parties hereunder, they shall, through reasonable, good faith negotiations, agree upon such other amendments hereto as may be necessary to restore the Parties as closely as possible to the relative rights and obligations initially intended by them hereunder.

[1] James W. Miller died shortly after the complaint was filed.

The undersigned AGREE to the form and content of this Agreement:

 

FOR THE HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

FOR THE UNITED STATES

THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

By:_________________

ROBERT RINNEY,
President and Chief Operating Officer
JOY BERENT
Senior Corporate Counsel
1 Henry Ford Place, Suite 4B
Detroit, MI 48202-3450
Telephone (313) 874-5600

__________________________
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief Disability Rights Section
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Special Litigation Counsel
BETH A. ESPOSITO, Trial Attorney
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. - NYAV
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone (202) 307-0663

BARBARA L. McQUADE
United States Attorney

_______________________
JUDITH E. LEVY
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Chief, Civil Rights Unit
Eastern District of Michigan
211 West Fort Street, Suite 2001
Detroit, MI  48226
Telephone (313) 226-9727
Judith.levy@usdoj.gov

Dated: February 1, 2012 Dated: February 1, 2012
 

Attachment A

The Henry Ford Health System Locations

Hospitals: After Hours and Urgent Care:
Henry Ford Hospital
2799 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202

Henry Ford Macomb Health Center -
Bruce Township
80650 Van Dyke
Bruce Township, MI 48065

Henry Ford Hospital
2799 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202

Henry Ford Macomb Health Center -
Chesterfield
30795 - 23 Mile Road
Chesterfield, MI 48047

Henry Ford Macomb Hospital
15855 19 Mile Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038

Henry Ford Macomb Health Center - Fraser
15717 -15 Mile Road
Fraser, MI 48035

Henry Ford Macomb Hospital - Mt. Clemens 
215 North Ave.
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

Henry Ford Medical Center - East Jefferson
24725 E. Jefferson Ave.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

Henry Ford Macomb Hospital -
Warren Campus
13355 E. 10 Mile Rd.
Warren, MI 48089

Henry Ford Medical Center - Livonia
29200 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
6777 W. Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Henry Ford Medical Center - Shelby
50505 Schoenherr Road
Shelby Township, MI 48315

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital
2333 Biddle Avenue
Wyandotte, MI 48192

Henry Ford Medical Center - Columbus (Novi)
39450 W. 12 Mile Rd
Novi, MI 48377

 

Henry Ford Medical Center - Commerce
8391 Commerce Road
Commerce Township, MI 48382

Health and Medical Centers:

Henry Ford Health Center (Brownstown)
23050 West Road
Brownstown Township, MI 48183-1472

Henry Ford Eye Care Services
Grosse Pointe
15401 E. Jefferson Ave.
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

Center for Senior Independence (Detroit)
7800 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48235

Henry Ford Grosse Pointe Ophthalmology
15401 E. Jefferson
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230

Dialysis - Eastpointe
21400 Kelly Road
Eastpointe, MI 48021

Henry Ford Health Services
Corporate Office
1 Ford Place
Detroit, MI 48202

Dialysis - Taylor
24565 Haig Road
Taylor, MI 48180

Henry Ford Macomb Health Center
Washingtown Twp.
12150 30 Mile Road
Washington Township, MI 48095

Dialysis - Troy
2050 Livernois, Suite A
Troy, MI 48083

Henry Ford Maplegrove Center (W. Bloomfield)
6773 W. Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Fairlane Dialysis
19001 Hubbard Drive
Dearborn, MI 48126

Henry Ford Medical Center - Ann Arbor
2755 Carpenter Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Fairlane Home Infusion
21298 Melrose Ave.
Southfield, MI 48075

Henry Ford Medical Center - Canton
6100 Haggerty Road
Canton, MI 48187

Fairlane Rehabilitation and Athletic Medicine
5225 Auto Club Dr., Ste 100
Dearborn, MI 48126

Henry Ford Medical Center - Columbus Center
39450 12 Mile Rd
Novi, MI 48377

Henry Ford Behavioral Health - Clinton
42633 Garfield Road, Suite 314
Clinton Township, MI 48038

Henry Ford Medical Center - Detroit East
4401 Conner
Detroit, MI 48215

Henry Ford Behavioral Health - Dearborn
5111 Auto Club Drive
Dearborn, MI 48126

Henry Ford Medical Center - Detroit Northwest
7800 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48235

Henry Ford Behavioral Health - Detroit
1 Ford Place
Detroit, MI 48202

Henry Ford Medical Center - Chicago Rd.
8600 Chicago Rd. South
Warren, MI 48093

Henry Ford Medical Center - Commerce
8391 Commerce Road
Commerce Township, MI 48382

Henry Ford Medical Center - Southfield
22777 W. Eleven Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48034

Henry Ford Medical Center - Cottage
159 Kercheval
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI  48236

Henry Ford Medical Center - Southland
21901 Eureka Road
Taylor, MI 48180

Henry Ford Medical Center - East Jefferson
24725 E. Jefferson Ave.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

Henry Ford Medical Center - Sterling Heights
3500 Fifteen Mile Rd.
Sterling Heights, MI 48310

Henry Ford Medical Center - Fairlane (Dearborn) 19401 Hubbard Drive
Dearborn, MI 48126

Henry Ford Medical Center - Taylor
24555 Haig Road
Taylor, MI 48180

Henry Ford Medical Center - Farmington Road
6530 Farmington Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Henry Ford Medical Center - Ten Mile Rd.
13251 East Ten Mile Road
Warren, MI 48089

Henry Ford Medical Center - Hamtramck
9100 Brombach
Hamtramck, MI 48212

Henry Ford Medical Center - Troy
2825 Livernois
Troy, MI 48083

Henry Ford Medical Center - Harbortown (Detroit)
3370 East Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48207

Henry Ford Medical Center - Warren
8600 Chicago Rd.
SouthWarren, MI 48093

Henry Ford Medical Center - Lakeside Sterling Hgts
14500 Hall Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Henry Ford Medical Center - Woodhaven
22505 Allen Rd.
Woodhaven, MI 48183

Henry Ford Medical Center - Livonia
29200 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Henry Ford Medical Center - Pierson
131 Kercheval Avenue
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

Henry Ford Medical Center - New Center One Detroit
3031 West Grand Blvd., Suite 800
Detroit, MI 48202

Henry Ford Nursing Home - Belmont
19840 Harper Ave.
Harper Woods, MI 48225

Henry Ford Medical Center - Novi
40000 W. Eight Mile Road
Northville, MI 48167

Henry Ford Nursing Home - Harper Woods
19840 Harper Avenue
Harper Woods, MI 48225

Henry Ford Medical Center - Plymouth
14300 Beck Road
Plymouth, MI 48170

Henry Ford Nursing Home - Roseville
25375 Kelly Rd.
Roseville, MI 48066

Henry Ford Medical Center - Royal Oak
26300 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Lake Orion
684 South Lapeer Road
Lake Orion, MI 48362

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Milford
Prospect Hill Plaza at Milford/Commerce Rd.
516 Highland Avenue
Milford, MI 48381

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Madison Heights
29351 John R. Road
Madison Heights, MI 48071

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Southfield
30800 Southfield Road
Southfield, MI 48076

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Owosso
1385 East Main St.
Owosso, MI 48867

Henry Ford OptimEyes Super Vision Center - Lakeside
43900 Schoenherr
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Port Huron
4355 24th Avenue
Fort Gratiot, MI 48059

Henry Ford OptimEyes Super Vision Center - Roseville
32600 Gratiot
Roseville, MI 48066

Henry Ford Rehabilitation - Allen Park
7445 Allen Road
Allen Park , MI 48101

Henry Ford OptimEyes Super Vision Center - Southgate
18900 Eureka Road
Southgate, MI 48195

Henry Ford Rehabilitation - Lowell Park
44800 Delco Blvd.
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Henry Ford OptimEyes Super Vision Center - Westland
35814 Central City Parkway
Westland, MI 48185

Henry Ford Rehabilitation - Warren
3601 E. Eleven Mile Road
Warren, MI 48092

Henry Ford OptimEyes SuperVision - West Bloomfield
6530 Farmington Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Henry Ford Reproductive Medicine - Somerset
1500 W. Big Beaver, Ste. 105
Troy, MI 48084

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Farmington Hills
38487 W. 10 Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335

Josephine Ford Cancer Center - Downriver
19675 Allen Road
Brownstown, MI 48183

Henry Ford OptimEyes - Grosse Pointe Park
15401 East Jefferson
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine
6525 Second Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative | ADA Home Page