The section Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a national law that protects persons from discrimination based on their race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. If you are eligible for Medicaid, other health care, or human services, you cannot be denied assistance because of your race, color, or national origin. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) enforces Title VI as well as other civil rights laws including: the Americans with Disabilties Act (ADA), the Hill-Burton Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Some of the institutions or programs that may be covered by Title VI are:
Prohibited Discriminatory Acts
There are many forms of illegal discrimination based on race, color, or national origin that frequently limit the opportunities of minorities to gain equal access to services. A recipient of Federal financial assistance may not, based on race, color, or national origin:
Title VI Obligations of Healthcare Entities
In order to comply with Title VI, health care entities are required to perform the following actions:
Failure to comply with Title VI could result in a loss of federal or state funding for the health care entity. For example, a nursing home could lose their funding and be forced to close. Health care entites could also face medical malpractice charges.
Title VI not only requires government enforcement, but also provides a private right of action in federal court, a right to sue health care faciliites and institutions that engage in intentional discrimination that prevents accessibility or opportunities in health care under federally funded programs. Patients have the right to sue regardless of the finding of an OCR investigation.
Learn about Your Rights from a Civil Rights Attorney
Have you suffered from a Title VI violation? Were you turned away from a clinic because your English skills were limited? Did a nursing home mistreat you because of your race? Learn more about your rights under Title VI be talking to a civil rights attorney. An attorney can help you take the next steps.
Contact a qualified civil rights attorney to help you protect your rights.