WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign this week released its 2013 Healthcare Equality Index which found participation for the first time including facilities in all 50 states and most U.S. veterans’ hospitals with a record number receiving the designation “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by meeting the Index’s “core four” criteria for LGBT “equity and inclusion,” HRC announced this week.
Participation increased by 153 percent over 2012 with 309 responses this year versus 122 in 2012. HRC said that represents 718 individual health care facilities.
There was also a 199 percent increase this year in those being designated “leaders in LGBT healthcare equality” going from 71 in 2012 to 212 this year representing 464 facilities.
And 93 percent of respondents said they include sexual orientation in their patient non-discrimination policies while 87 percent include gender identity, HRC, which started the survey in 2007, said.
To get a top HRC rating, a health care facility has to have a written non-discrimination policy for patients and employees that addresses both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” guarantee equal visitation rights for LGBT patients and train its staff to care for LGBT patients. The campaign asks facilities for documents to prove they have and publicize their LGBT policies. The advocacy group also provides free staff training in LGBT issues, although facilities still get credit if they choose to get training from another company instead, HRC said.