ADA and Civil Rights Grievance Procedure

Federal law requires that all Medicaid providers in North Carolina comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557).  DHHS has adopted grievance procedures to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints against Medicaid providers as well as divisions of DHHS to which these federal laws apply. 

The ADA requires the provision of reasonable accommodations. Such accommodations may include providing individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing with auxiliary aids and services, such as sign language interpreters, to achieve effective communication.  The Department takes allegations of discrimination seriously, and accepts complaints from Medicaid participants who believe a provider discriminated on the basis of disability, including failure to provide auxiliary aids and services to a qualified individual with a disability. Violations of the civil rights laws could subject a Medicaid provider to sanctions, including but not limited to suspension and/or termination of the provider participation agreement.

Section 504 protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of benefits and services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including programs and activities that are conducted by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS. This includes the Medicaid program.

Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance. Programs that receive Federal funds cannot distinguish among individuals on the basis of race, color or national origin, either directly or indirectly, in the types, quantity, quality or timeliness of program services, aids or benefits that they provide or the manner in which they provide them. The courts have held that Title VI prohibits recipients of Federal financial assistance from denying limited English proficient (LEP) persons access to programs, based on their national origin.

Section 1557 builds upon already existing federal laws and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, such as Medicaid providers and the state Medicaid program.  In general, the requirements adopted under Section 1557 include equal treatment of men and women with respect to health coverage and prohibitions against discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.  This section also updated notice requirements to ensure access to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). 

Please see the attached DHHS Grievance Procedure relevant to ADA, Title VI, Section 504, and Section 1557 complaints. A copy of a complaint form is appended to the end of the Grievance Procedure. For any questions, contact the Department's Compliance Attorney, M. Terry Hodges, Office of the Secretary, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603, telephone (919) 855-4800, email: terry.hodges@dhhs.nc.gov

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