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HHS OCR and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan Enter Voluntary Resolution Agreement with Michigan Bariatric Practice to Protect Patients from HIV Discrimination

March 4, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights ("HHS OCR") and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan have entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with Great Lakes Surgical Associates ("GLSA") to protect patients from discrimination on the basis of HIV status. The Complainant, an African American man and a Medicare beneficiary, initially filed a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ), reporting that his primary care physician referred him to GLSA for bariatric surgery to address his high blood pressure and diabetes. However, GLSA allegedly refused to fully evaluate him for bariatric surgery or to provide him with the surgery due to the Complainant's HIV status.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan investigated the allegation that GLSA discriminated against the Complainant based on his disability, in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("Title III of the ADA"). Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.

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