Advanced Plastic Surgery Solutions agrees to resolve alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
ATLANTA - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia has reached a settlement with Advanced Plastic Surgery Solutions (“APSS”) to resolve an investigation into allegations that it violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by refusing to accept a new patient because of her HIV status.
“The ADA prohibits healthcare providers from denying services on the basis of a disability or perceived disability,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “When a person is denied service because of a disability, it can be emotionally painful and, in this case, deprive a person of the medical care she desires. Our office remains committed to eradicating this type of discrimination wherever it may occur."
According to the complaint, the complainant attempted to schedule an initial appointment with APSS to discuss cosmetic surgery. Complainant’s initial call was answered by a third party call center retained by APSS to handle large volumes of telephone calls from prospective patients. Upon revealing that she had HIV, the call center employee told the complainant that APSS doctors would not perform the procedure. Complainant called back and spoke with an employee of APSS who also told complainant that under those circumstances, APSS would not perform surgery.
The settlement requires APSS to draft new policies and procedures indicating that it does not discriminate against persons with disabilities, including persons who have HIV or AIDS. APSS will also conduct training for its employees, with a focus on HIV-related discrimination. APSS has agreed to pay $25,000 to compensate the complainant for her emotional distress, and pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by health care professionals. Denying people with disabilities access to medical services based solely upon the individual's disability, including HIV status, violates the ADA.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aileen Bell Hughes, who is the Civil Rights Enforcement Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.