The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has released the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey of health care organizations on how they treat their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and staff. The 718 facilities included in the 2013 HEI represent a 153% increase in participation over last year’s survey. An unprecedented 74% of 2013 HEI respondents won recognition as “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” after meeting four foundational criteria for equitable LGBT care (patient non-discrimination, equal visitation, employment non-discrimination, and training in LGBT patient-centered care), a 199% increase in facilities achieving this status.
In a major breakthrough, 121 of the nation’s 151 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers participated in the 2013 HEI, compared to just one VHA participant in the 2012 HEI. Nearly 80% of the participating VHA facilities were awarded Equality Leader status in the 2013 HEI, as they sought to welcome LGBT veterans who have served their country.