Last Updated March 12, 2021
Vaya Health is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Vaya has zero tolerance for unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. Vaya does not discriminate against members, recipients, providers, employees, or applicants in the provision of services or administration of any Vaya Health Plan, including but not limited to any clinical, marketing, and care management programs offered by Vaya or its network providers to our members. This policy applies to all aspects of subcontracting and network participation, including, but not limited to, selection and retention, credentialing and re-credentialing, contracting, utilization reviews, audits, monitoring and investigations, adverse actions, and dispute resolution. Furthermore, it is a violation of our contracts with our contracted providers or subcontractors for them to engage in unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind related to hiring or employment practices or in the administration or provision of services.
Discrimination in general means treating a person unfairly because of who they are or because they possess certain characteristics. Per Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C §2000d et seq., “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Discrimination that occurs because of any characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law is unlawful and in direct violation of Vaya policy.
Vaya does not discriminate on the basis of any protected classification or characteristic, including, but not limited to, race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, handicap, genetic information, health status/need for health services, or National Guard, Veterans’, marital, parental or other protected status, in compliance with laws that prohibit discrimination. Vaya also does not discriminate against providers that serve high-risk populations or specialize in conditions that require costly treatment or based on practitioner or facility license or certification type.
Vaya Health provides the following to support effective communication with us:
- Free auxiliary aids and services to people with disabilities, such as:
- Qualified sign language interpreters
- Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)
- Free language services to people who primarily speak a prevalent language in North Carolina that is other than English, such as:
- Qualified interpreters
- Information written in other languages
If you need these services, you can call our Access to Care staff at 1-800-849-6127 for help.
Vaya complies with all applicable federal and North Carolina laws, rules, and regulations, guidelines, and standards, including those that may be lawfully adopted pursuant to following laws and orders prohibiting discrimination:
(a) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin;
(b) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify and national origin;
(c) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap;
(d) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex;
(e) The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age;
(f) Section 654 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 9849, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap, political affiliation or beliefs;
(g) The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, P.L. 101-336, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities;
(h) Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities;
(i) The North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act, Article 49A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ fifteen (15) or more employees;
(j) The North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act, Chapter 168A of the General Statutes, which prohibits disability discrimination;
(k) The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, Article 21 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes, which prohibits employer retaliation against employees who in good faith take or threaten to take protected action under the law; and
(l) The non-discrimination provisions in North Carolina Executive Order 24 dated October 18, 2017 by maintaining or implementing employment policies that prohibit discrimination by reason of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, pregnancy, religion, National Guard or Veteran’s status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
Vaya’s Collaboration with the NC Department of Health and Human Services
Vaya will collaborate with the Department and its divisions to identify resources and address the needs of individuals with disabilities. Vaya’s Chief Executive Officer and other executive leaders communicate regularly with Department leadership about solutions to address the needs of Vaya’s members and recipients. Key Vaya staff participate in numerous Department-level committees and workgroups focused on community and member/ recipient needs, and Vaya also maintains a direct communication link to the Department through our dedicated Waiver Contract Manager, who collaborates on a routine and daily basis with the Department concerning the needs of our members and recipients. Vaya established a dedicated email account for two-way communication with the Department. This account is continuously monitored to ensure timely responses to urgent needs. Vaya’s Complex Care Management and Member Services Departments also routinely collaborate with the Department to address individualized needs for services and supports.
Vaya’s Internal Complaint Process
If you believe that you have experienced discrimination in relation to any of Vaya’s programs or providers you can file a complaint through our Compliance Hotline at 1-866-976-4255 or by filing a report in our EthicsPoint portal at www.vayahealth.ethicspoint.com. EthicsPoint is a secure and confidential (private) tool to report suspected discrimination, fraud and abuse. EthicsPoint can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days week.
Through our internal complaint process, we
- Protect the rights of individuals served in their communities
- Acknowledge receipt of complaints or concerns
- Respond to complaints or concerns
- Assist families and individuals to access public services
- Provide information about our complaint system
A Vaya employee, provider, or subcontractor who repeatedly, intentionally, willingly, or knowingly violates the Vaya discrimination policy or applicable Non-Discrimination Laws described above may be subject to adverse action, up to and including, termination of employment or contract. Vaya, and/or its employees, contracted providers, or subcontractors may also be responsible for any applicable fines or penalties for violations of Non-Discrimination Laws.
If you are a member or recipient and you prefer to contact someone other than Vaya, you have a complaint process available to you through the Department. You may call the Department’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-662-7030 or the DMH/DD/SAS Customer Service and Community Rights Team at 984-236-5300 / 855-262-1946 or email email@example.com. Go to https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/mental-health-substance-abuse/customer-service-and-community-rights for more information.
Employees of Vaya, providers and employers of record also have a complaint process available to them outside of Vaya or their employer. Below are resources available to employees in North Carolina:
- You may file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/smartscreen/main.jsf; by mail at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW Room 509F, HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201; or by telephone at 1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD). Complaint forms are available at www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/file/index.html.
- You may file a complaint with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), through the EEOC’s Public Portal; or by telephone at 1-800-669-4000
- You may file a complaint with the North Carolina Human Relations Commission at https://www.nc.gov/agency/human-relations-commission; or by telephone at 919-431-3000