Zoom in on Court Decisions and Settlements

Settlement: Virginia Medical Practice to Implement New Policies, Pay Damages and Penalty for Refusing Services to Individual in Medication-Assisted Treatment

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently entered a settlement agreement with Selma Medical Associates, a practice that offers both primary and specialty care in Winchester, Virginia.

DOJ conducted an investigation based on a complaint that the medical practice refused to schedule a family care appointment for a new patient when he revealed he takes Suboxone to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). DOJ found that the practice was routinely refusing services to individuals who were being legally treated with narcotic controlled substances for OUD or other addictions, which are generally considered disabilities.

According to DOJ, at the time the complainant sought routine care from Selma, he did not engage in the illegal use of drugs and had participated in a supervised rehabilitation program, therefore he was entitled to protection under the ADA.

Selma will develop a new policy and implement an extensive staff training program to ensure individuals will not be inappropriately denied services.

The practice will also pay the complainant $30,000 as compensation for the harm he experienced, as well as a $10,000 civil penalty.