Tennessee’s Covenant Health settles Disabilities Act claims

August 22, 2022 GMT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The United States has reached a settlement with Knoxville, Tennessee,-based Covenant Health over claims that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The settlement Friday comes in the case of a deaf man who alleged that he was denied effective communication during emergency department visits and an in-patient admission at Parkwest Medical Center. That’s according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

The complainant alleged that he was offered virtual interpreter services, but they were not effective. The result was that he did not understand the reasons for his admissions, his treatment plan, or his discharge instructions.

The settlement agreement is effective for three years. Covenant agreed to several measures, including providing training on the Americans with Disabilities Act and submitting compliance reports to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Covenant, which operates nine hospitals in East Tennessee, will also pay a $50,000 penalty to the United States.