Healthcare Equality Index 2012: Great Progress Toward LGBT Healthcare Equality
June 19, 2012 by Tom Sullivan
The number of American hospitals striving to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients equally and respectfully is on the rise, according to a report released today by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation at a press conference with U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. Much work remains to be done to end discrimination in America’s healthcare system, but the once invisible issue of LGBT healthcare equity is gaining national prominence, with healthcare facilities committing themselves to offering non-discriminatory care.
“Just a few short years ago the healthcare industry wasn’t having conversations about LGBT healthcare equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Now, thanks to advocacy by the LGBT community and some standout leaders, growing numbers of healthcare providers are making an explicit commitment to treat all patients with dignity and respect. The healthcare industry is beginning to heed the call for fairness and compassion.”
The report details the results of the most recent Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year’s survey found a 40 percent increase in rated facilities, which totaled 407 nationwide. It also found an impressive 162 percent increase in the number of facilities achieving the status of “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” special recognition given to facilities earning a perfect rating by meeting four core criteria for LGBT patient-centered care laid out in the HEI.
The HEI helps hospitals assess themselves against established best practices and ensure that they are complying with requirements for non-discrimination. These include a requirement issued last year by The Joint Commission, the largest accrediting body for U.S. hospitals, calling on all accredited facilities to extend non-discrimination protection to LGBT patients.
Check back after the event for archived video and pictures from the HEI 2012 release event.
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