Surgeon Who Discriminated against HIV-Positive Patient Loses Federal Funding

October 4, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


A physician who refused to perform surgery on a patient based on the patient’s positive HIV status has been denied Medicaid funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), states a July 18, 2013, press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. An order issued by the HHS Departmental Appeals Board concluded that the surgeon violated section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits disability discrimination by healthcare providers who receive federal funds. The order follows an OCR investigation of a complaint filed by a patient who alleged that the surgeon refused to perform back surgery after learning that the patient was HIV positive. OCR found that the surgeon discriminated against the patient on the basis of his HIV status in violation of federal civil rights laws.

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