Serving All Patients
Earlier this year when President Barack Obama signed a memorandum, calling for and end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians in hospital visitation policies, he set in motion potential changes that will significantly alter how LGBT people interact with the healthcare system.
But a new report of the nation's LGBT health care practices, released this week, found that far too many of medical care facilities have some way to go in implementing policies that are fully inclusive of gay people.
Representatives of the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) detailed results of the survey and report, called the Healthcare Equality Index 2010 ( HEI ) , for reporters last week during a telephone press conference. The analysis is included in a 72-page document, accessible at www.hrc.org/hei2010/index1.html . Working with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the HRC Foundation produced the fourth annual HEI survey report and its findings.
Conducted October through December 2009, the HEI 2010 reviewed a representative sample of 200 of the largest healthcare facilities nationwide. The report found that in all 50 states—and even in historically LGBT-friendly cities like San Francisco and New York—some facilities still do not fully protect LGBT people from healthcare discrimination. In fact, a whopping 93 percent of healthcare facilities included in the study do not have fully inclusive policies while 42 percent fail to include "sexual orientation" in their non-discrimination policies for patients' bill of rights.