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February 2015

Ensuring Access to Health Care for Patients With Disabilities

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Quality of Care Research, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Division of General Internal Medicine, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 4Disability Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(2):157-158. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6740

Patients with disabilities face barriers when they attempt to access health care.1 These barriers include physical barriers to entering health care establishments, lack of accessible equipment, lack of a safe method for transferring the patient to an examination table, and the lack of policies that facilitate access.2 The barriers persist despite 2 federal laws (the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA] of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) that explicitly state that health care settings must be accessible to patients with disabilities.

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