Massachusetts Medical Society: Legal Advisor: Treating Hearing Impaired Patients under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Legal Advisor: Treating Hearing Impaired Patients under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Legal Advisor: Treating Hearing Impaired Patients under the Americans with Disabilities Act

There is a lack of knowledge about the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in medical settings, which has led to worse treatment for hearing impaired patients.  Physicians need to develop strategies for treating hearing impaired patients that comply with the ADA.

By law, physicians are required to provide hearing impaired patients with reasonable auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication while in the care of the physician. Many physicians are unaware of the resources available for treating hearing impaired patients, and are even less aware of the consequences for not providing adequate accommodations. They may be hesitant to take all the affirmative steps necessary to ensure that they are properly treating a hearing impaired patient because they may be expensive.  However, the case studies show that not properly treating a hearing impaired patient can be more expensive than providing an adequate accommodation in the first place.

Learning Objectives

  • Review the barriers to access for the 10% of Americans that suffer from hearing loss.
  • Interpret how the requirements of the ADA protect hearing-impaired patients.
  • Compare the different auxiliary aids available to treat hearing impaired patients, and when they are appropriate.
  • Restate the strategies for improving communication between physicians and hearing impaired patients.


    Matthew Mortensen, Content Contributor

    Course Fees

    Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Member: $15.00 
    Non-MMS Member: $30.00 
    Allied Health Professionals: $12.00



    CME Credit

    1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

    Accreditation Statement
    The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

    AMA Credit Designation Statement
    The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

    MOC Approval Statement 
    Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory , this activity has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:

    Allergy and Immunology
    Colon and Rectal Surgery
    Family Medicine
    Nuclear Medicine
    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Plastic Surgery
    Preventive Medicine
    Psychiatry & Neurology
    Thoracic Surgery

    National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA).
    Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

    A score of 70% or higher is required to receive  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™.

    Activity Term
    Original Release Date: June 15, 2017 
    Review Date: N/A     
    Termination Date: June 15, 2020    

    System Requirements

    Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8  
    Mac OSX 10.6 higher

    Most modern browsers including:  
    Firefox 18.0+  
    Chrome 26+  
    Safari 5+  
    Flash player is required for some Online CME courses.

    iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices)  
    Android devices including tablets and phones.  
    Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported. 


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