How healthcare is lacking for some patients with disabilities

President Donald Trump's administration rolled back an ACA measure to update accessible medical treatment standards for Americans with disabilities in late 2017, which has reinforced some patients' limited access to high-quality healthcare, according to Kaiser Health News.

Here are five things to know:

1. At present, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all public places be accessible to people with disabilities. However, this requirement only applies to fixed structures, such as ramps and doorways. Therefore, healthcare facilities are not legally required to provide scales, tables and X-ray machines designed to accommodate people with disabilities.

2. The ACA called on a federal panel to close this care gap by creating standards to determine what medical equipment could be deemed "accessible" in the ADA, according to KHN. However, the Justice Department paused this effort in December 2017 as part of a larger initiative to scale back federal regulations.

3. Lisa Iezzoni, MD, a professor of medicine at Boston-based Harvard Medical School, uses a wheelchair because she has multiple sclerosis. She told KHN she went 20 years without being weighed properly because her providers did not have an accessible scale for her.

"I was in shock when I heard that [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions' Justice Department had pulled back on their rule-making," Dr. Iezzoni told KHN.

4. Many patients and disability rights advocates argue the department's actions reinforce healthcare disparities. Some experts said the lack of accessible equipment also parallels a lack of physician training on treating patients with disabilities, according to KHN.

5. Megan Morris, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado's School of Public Health, has conducted extensive research on the relationship between disabilities and healthcare access.

"We need to think more broadly: How do we equip our healthcare providers?" she told KHN, adding that many physicians have an "implicit bias, and they don't realize they may or may not be treating patients with disabilities differently."

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