Methodist Healthcare reaches settlement with feds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis has reached a settlement with Methodist Healthcare over allegations that it did not provide effective communication with a deaf patient under the American with Disabilities Act.

In a statement released Monday, U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said a hearing-impaired person went to Methodist University Hospital’s emergency room and wrote notes to explain why she was there.

However, emergency room personnel did not request an interpreter and thought the patient had left when she did not respond to her name being called. An interpreter never arrived, and the patient spent nine hours in the emergency room.

The hospital agrees to improve procedures for identifying the needs of hearing-impaired patients and procedures for using interpreters. Methodist will also pay $8,000 in damages to the patient.