U.S. Physicians’ Knowledge About The Americans With Disabilities Act And Accommodation Of Patients With Disability

Document Type



More than thirty years since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disability continue to experience health care disparities. The ADA mandates that patients with disability receive reasonable accommodations. In our survey of 714 US physicians in outpatient practices, 35.8 percent reported knowing little or nothing about their legal responsibilities under the ADA, 71.2 percent answered incorrectly about who determines reasonable accommodations, 20.5 percent did not correctly identify who pays for these accommodations, and 68.4 felt that they were at risk for ADA lawsuits. Physicians who felt that lack of formal education or training was a moderate or large barrier to caring for patients with disability were more likely to report little or no knowledge of their responsibilities under the law and were more likely to believe that they were at risk for an ADA lawsuit. To achieve equitable care and social justice for patients with disability, considerable improvements are needed to educate physicians and make health care delivery systems more accessible and accommodating.