Healthcare Companies Settle Disability Discrimination Claims

 by TWIW StaffSeptember 27, 2021

The Department of Justice announced on Monday, August 27, that four healthcare entities that operate and manage skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts agreed to resolve allegations they violated federal laws.

The Department of Justice alleges their skilled nursing facilities denied admission to prospective residents because of prescriptions for an FDA-approved medication for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

The four entities are:

  • CareOne Realty, LLC
  • Hebrew Senior Life, Inc.
  • Sheehan Health Group, LLC (which manages Laurel Ridge in Jamaica Plain and Presentation Rehabilitation Center in Brighton)
  • Wingate Healthcare

CareOne is the only of the four with a location in Worcester Country. CareOne in Millbury is at 312 Millbury Avenue.

The Department of Justices alleges they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with the residency denial.

An individuals receiving medication to treat OUD are disabled under federal civil rights laws. The individuals who were the subject of the complaints in these cases were seeking admission for health issues unrelated to their dependency, but also needed treatment for OUD.

Under the agreement, the four entities will adopt a non-discrimination policy and provide training on the ADA and OUD to admissions personnel. They will pay civil penalties totaling $55,000, of which $35,000 will forgiven if the facilities comply with the terms of the agreement.

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