DOJ Withdraws Amendments to the ADA: What Does It Mean for Healthcare Providers?
April 20, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
An April 12, 2018, article in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the implications of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) 2017 decision to formally withdraw four Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking related to Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Included in these measures was a regulation that would require healthcare providers to make medical diagnostic equipment accessible for people with disabilities. Nearly a quarter (22%) of U.S. adults have a disability, the authors said. Disabilities affecting mobility, which affect 13% of adults, are the most common type. Inaccessible medical equipment, such as fixed-height exam tables and imaging equipment, is a recurring barrier to providing care to this population. These patients are often unable to independently climb onto tables or position themselves to use these types of equipment, and too frequently, providers do not assist them. Instead, the authors said, providers will examine them in their wheelchairs or not at all. Studies show that adjustable-height exam tables make it easier for patients to get onto the tables, making examination easier, the authors said.