Tag Archives: Transgender

HRC report on LGBT healthcare equality

2012 Report Sees Great Progress toward LGBT Healthcare Equality

 WASHINGTON – The number of American hospitals striving to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients equally and respectfully is on the rise, according to a report released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation at a press conference with U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. Much work remains to be done to end discrimination in America’s healthcare system, but the once invisible issue of LGBT healthcare equity is gaining national prominence, with healthcare facilities committing themselves to offering unbiased care.

“Just a few short years ago the healthcare industry wasn’t having conversations about LGBT healthcare equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Now, thanks to advocacy by the LGBT community and some standout leaders, growing numbers of healthcare providers are making an explicit commitment to treat all patients with dignity and respect. The healthcare industry is beginning to heed the call for fairness and compassion.”

The report details the results of the most recent Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year’s survey found a 40 percent increase in rated facilities, which totaled 407 nationwide. It also found an impressive 162 percent increase in the number of facilities achieving the status of “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” special recognition given to facilities earning a perfect rating by meeting four core criteria for LGBT patient-centered care laid out in the HEI.

The HEI 2012 rates 11 Boston area healthcare facilities, eight of which were named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality” for their perfect ratings. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, Fenway Health, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Mount Auburn Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital received the “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” designation. Other participants include Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center.

The HEI helps hospitals assess themselves against established best practices and ensure that they are complying with requirements for non-discrimination. These include a requirement issued last year by The Joint Commission, the largest accrediting body for U.S. hospitals, calling on all accredited facilities to extend non-discrimination protection to LGBT patients.

Over 90 percent of HEI 2012 participants explicitly prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, and 76 percent ban discrimination against transgender patients. Additionally, about 75 percent of respondents have a written policy explicitly granting equal visitation rights to same-sex couples and same-sex parents. This represents a significant increase since the Department of Health and Human Services issued rules in 2011 requiring all hospitals that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding – nearly every hospital in America – to protect the visitation rights of LGBT people. 

For the first time, the HEI additionally required participating facilities to document that high-level managers in key work areas had received expert training in LGBT health needs. As a result, more than 1,000 healthcare administrators across the country participated in training provided through the HEI.

“I commend the LGBT and healthcare communities for the progress made and I am proud to be part of an administration that has a historic record of accomplishment for the LGBT community,” said Sec. Sebelius. “We will continue to take action to ensure that LGBT Americans get equal treatment in healthcare settings and that all patients are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

Studies, including a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, have shown that the LGBT community faces health disparities and healthcare discrimination and that many LGBT Americans are concerned about experiencing bias in healthcare. But things are changing, as the HEI 2012 documents.

“Equal and inclusive healthcare saves lives,” added Griffin. “Increasing numbers of hospitals across the country are working to ensure LGBT patients receive care free of prejudice and discrimination. We thank the HEI 2012 participants for their hard work and dedication to ensuring healthcare equality for all patients.”

HEI Core Four Rating Criteria 2012* 2011* 2010*
  1. Patient Non-Discrimination
1a. “Sexual Orientation” in Patient Non-Discrimination Policy 90.2% (+0.5%) 89.7% (+6%) 83.7%
1b. “Gender Identity” in Patient Non-Discrimination Policy 76.2    (+16.4) 59.8 (+30.6) 29.2
  1. Visitation
2a. Explicitly Inclusive Visitation Policy Grants Equal Access for Same-Sex Couples 74.5    (+21.9) 52.6 (+20.8) 31.8
2b. Explicitly Inclusive Visitation Policy Grants Equal Access for Same-Sex Parents 74.0    (+25.4) 48.6 (+16.3) 32.3
  1. Employment Non-Discrimination
3a. “Sexual Orientation” in Employment Non-Discrimination Policy 96.7      (+5.9) 90.8 93.8
3b. “Gender Identity” in Employment Non-Discrimination Policy 74.6    (+10.2) 64.4 (+12.2) 52.2
  1. Training
Provides Training in LGBT Patient-Centered Care for Key Staff Members 67.2 ** **

* Lists of survey respondents are not identical from year to year.

** Training criterion differed significantly prior to 2012 survey

View the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2012 at www.hrc.org/hei.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The Worcester Transgender Emergency Fund

By Cha-Cha Connor

The Transfabulous Brunch and Art Auction, a benefit for the Worcester Transgender Emergency Fund held Sunday January 25, was a huge success! Organizers want to thank everyone who attended, our contributing artists, and our hosts, 86 Winter American Bistro on Water Street.

According to founder Jesse Pack, Prevention and Education Director at AIDS Project Worcester, the fund “responds to the needs of transgender people living in Massachusetts by providing immediate, short-term financial assistance to help low-income transgender people with basic human needs.” The hope is that by providing immediate assistance, the fund can help people who are transgender and homeless, while at the same time preventing some transgender people in Central Massachusetts from becoming homeless in the first place. Continue reading The Worcester Transgender Emergency Fund

Jesse Pack: a boy finds himself (Part 1)

By Rosalie Tirella

In honor of Worcester’s annual Get Your Pride on Celebration, InCity Times interviews Jeese Pack of AIDS Project Worcester. Jesse made the courageous (he’d say natural) decision to “transition” from a young woman to a young man at the age of 19. Here’s his story.

Rose: Let’s talk about the event [the Get Your Pride On celebration – see our “ad”] on Water Street, Worcester Pride and the role your group is going to play.

Jesse: First, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I encourage anyone who’s going to be in Worcester to come to it. … There is going to be a pretty strong transgendered presence there. … Gunner Scott, who is the current director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, is going to speak during the political rally. There’s going to be a Mass Trans Political Coalition booth and table at the event, and they’re going to be passing out information about legal rights and needs of trans people. AIDS Project Worcester, as usual, is going to be a very strong presence there, with outreach workers. We’re gonna have our own table.…

Continue reading Jesse Pack: a boy finds himself (Part 1)