Human Rights Campaign Releases Study of LGBT Equality in U.S. Hospitals
October 22, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System
More than 500 hospitals voluntarily completed a nationwide hospital benchmarking survey on facility commitment to equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients, and the results were published in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) report, which was released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, according to an October 13, 2014, press release. More than 1,500 hospitals were rated on their commitment to LGBT equality, an increase of 110% from last year. Other surveys have reported that LGBT patients have experienced discrimination when seeking healthcare, including being refused care and staff using excessive precautions or abusive language during treatment, and the HEI report evaluated hospitals on a variety of indicators to determine that all patients receive "inclusive, compassionate and respectful care." The report notes that while the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require various nondiscrimination policies for compliance (e.g., visitation rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity), many facilities have a "long way to go toward true inclusion."