Healthcare Equality Index 2018 shows more inclusive hospitals
Despite the efforts of the Trump administration to limit healthcare for the LGBTQ community, the Healthcare Equality Index 2018 shows that more hospitals are dedicating themselves to their LGBTQ patients.
The 11th edition of the HEI report, published by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, showed 626 healthcare facilities actively participating in the survey.
Of this number, 418 got a top score of 100 and was designated by HRC as “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”
Healthcare Equality Index 2018: Against “conscience” regulations
The HEI report scores the healthcare facilities on their policies and practices for their “equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors, and employees.”
Moreover, the HRC Foundation gauged the key policies of more than 900 hospitals nationwide that didn’t participate in the survey to see how they treat the LGBTQ community.
The survey is timely given the proposal of the Trump administration– and especially by Vice President Mike Pence– of a “conscience” regulation to be given by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
This “conscience” would be centered in the still-to-be-formed Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom in the department.
This measure, once finalized, would supposedly allow medical providers and healthcare organizations to refuse necessary patient care of LGBTQ people and women based on their “conscience” or religious belief.
“At a time when health care and the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top healthcare facilities are driving progress toward equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
HEI survey shows increase towards inclusiveness, equality
For those that participated in the survey, they were scored on the following: LGBTQ Patient-Centered Care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement.
The 2018 HEI showed that there was a 59 percent increase in hospitals “that have written gender transition guidelines” and a 42 percent increase for those “that offer trans-inclusive benefits.”
Likewise, there was a 21 percent increase in “the number of participants that have transgender-specific policies” and a 63 percent increase in training hours recorded for LGBTQ care training provided.
Of the hospitals that didn’t participate in the survey, 63 percent have “patient non-discrimination policies that include both sexual orientation and gender identity,” which was slightly higher than last year.’s score
Furthermore, 53 percent were found to have “an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy.”
Lastly, participating and non-participating facilities had close scores for the equal visitation policy.
Healthcare Equality Index 2018 indicates protection for LGBTQ
Tari Hanneman, director of HRC’s Health Equality Project and one of the report’s authors, told NBC News that there is “tremendous growth on a number of best practices” recommended by HRC.
“There is nothing [in federal law] that says that a hospital has to provide LGBTQ-inclusive care,” Hanneman pointed out, which is why healthcare facilities need to create their own nondiscrimination policies.
The northeast region of the US had the most healthcare facilities with LGBTQ-inclusive policies, with California and New York as the top states on the list.
“It is more important than ever for these institutions of everyday living to step up and provide these nondiscrimination protections to their patients and their employees,” Hanneman said.