Human Rights Campaign Foundation: 2012 Healthcare Equality Index

The Human Rights Campaign has published the 2012 Healthcare Equality Index, with over 400 hospitals and clinics participating in this latest round of annual organizational self-assessments about the quality of health care provided to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and their families.  The healthcare facilities who responded are located in 32 states and the District of Columbia, leaving 22 states in which no healthcare facility is on record for assessing its quality of care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients.  The index includes the following items:

  • Sexual orientation included in patient non-discrimination policy (now a requirement both from the Joint Commission, surveyed for accredited organizations beginning July 2011)
  • Gender identity included in patient non-discrimination policy (now a requirement both from the Joint Commission, surveyed for accredited organizations beginning July 2011)
  • Visitation policy grants equal access for same-sex couples (now a requirement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
  • Visitation policy grants equal access for same-sex parents (now a requirement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
  • Sexual orientation included in employment non-discrimination policy
  • Gender identity included in employment non-discrimination policy
  • Training in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patient-centered care

Several new questions were added to the 2012 survey.  88% of 122 responding healthcare facilities collect information about marital or relationship status but only 58% allow patients to indicate that they are in legally recognized same-sex relationships.  42% of respondents give patients the opportunity to indicate that their current gender identity differs from the gender on their birth certificate or other identification.  And only 26% of the responding facilities regularly collect data about patients’ sexual orientation.

 

Finally, while 80% of the responding healthcare facilities offered health care benefits to domestic partners and spouses of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees, only 12 respondents (10%) offered their own employees transgender-inclusive health care benefits.

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