HHS, Justice Department issue telehealth nondiscrimination guidance

HHS and the Justice Department have partnered to issue guidance for healthcare providers on protections under nondiscrimination laws and how they apply to telehealth. 

The guidance helps telehealth providers understand and ensure their services are accessible to those with disabilities as well as those who speak limited English, according to the July 29 press release. This could include having instructions in multiple languages, ensuring platforms have screen-reading software compatibility for people with blindness or low vision and providing interpreters for telehealth meetings. 

"Federal civil rights laws protect patients from discrimination regardless of whether they are receiving health care online or at the doctor's office," said Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will vigorously enforce the ADA and other civil rights laws to ensure that health care providers offering telehealth services are doing so free from discrimination."

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