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Office for Civil Rights resolves discrimination complaint from patient with HIV

November 05, 2019

The Office for Civil Rights announced Oct. 30 that it had secured corrective actions and resolved a complaint filed by a patient with HIV against Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

The patient filed the complaint after a Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeon allegedly made an offensive remark about the patient’s HIV status then refused to perform the patient’s scheduled surgery. Upon learning about the complaint by the OCR, Florida Orthopaedic Institute barred the patient from receiving further care, citing the patient’s complaint as the reason. The patient filed a second complaint about his ban.

Using the second complaint as grounds, the OCR secured corrective actions from the institute, including revising its procedures for dismissing a patient and amending its nondiscrimination policies. The institute also agreed to provide staff with training on HIV, federal nondiscrimination laws, grievance procedures and refraining from retaliatory actions.

For more information on the civil rights and health information privacy rights of people living with HIV, visit https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/hiv/index.html.