The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) on March 27 released the 11th edition of its annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), which scores healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in this year’s survey, committing to LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. Of facilities surveyed, 418 earned a top score of 100, and received HRC’s coveted “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. In addition, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals across the nation.
Georgia was one of eight states or territories not to have a single facility receive an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader designation. Three Georgia facilities — Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital in Tucker and VA Carl Vinson Medical Center in Dublin and — were named “Top Performers” for scoring between 85 and 95 points on the index. Grady Memorial Hospital barely missed out on that designation by scoring 80 points. The rest of the Georgia facilities scored 50 points or less, with the VA Charlie Norwood Medical Center in Augusta scoring 50, Piedmont Hospital scoring 40, AU Medical Center in Augusta scoring 35, Atlanta Medical Center scoring 30 and VA Atlanta Medical Center scoring 0.
“While the 2018 HEI shows a growing commitment across the nation to equitable and inclusive health care, it also illustrates work left to be done,” said Tari Hanneman, director of the HRC Foundation’s Health Equality Project and author of the HEI in a news release. “And that work has never been more urgent, given the all-out assaults on the LGBTQ community from the highest levels of government.”
Healthcare facilities were graded on factors such as patient non-discrimination, equal visitation, employment non-discrimination, training in LGBTQ patient-certified care, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, patient and community engagement and responsible citizenship.
See below for a breakdown in scores for the nine Georgia healthcare facilities evaluated in this year’s HEI.