HRC Releases Healthcare Equality Index

The Human Rights Campaign has released their 12th annual Healthcare Equality Index, the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to LGBTQ inclusion.

680 healthcare actively participated in this year’s HEI, a record high. Of these 680, 406 participants (60 percent) earned a perfect score and were designated a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” California had the most top scorers in the nation with 81 perfectly scoring healthcare facilities, while Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico all did the worst with zero perfect scores.

Only one Georgia healthcare facility received a perfect score: VA Atlanta Medical Center in Decatur.

Another 148 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring 80 to 95 points. 81 percent of all participating facilities received a score of 80 or higher.

HEI participants were scored based on answers to a series of questions on LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. These questions were divided into four criteria: Non-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement.

“As the Trump-Pence administration continues to attack the most fundamental rights of LGBTQ people, including rolling back non-discrimination protection in the Affordable Care Act and promoting a license to discriminate in healthcare, it is more important than ever that healthcare institutions stand with the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The healthcare facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients.”

Other key findings from this year’s HEI include over half of participants having written gender transition policies, 75 percent of hospitals offering trans-inclusive benefits, a 35 percent increase in LGBTQ training hours recorded, a 60 percent increase in participants whose electronic health records capture sexual orientation, and a 40 percent increase in inclusion of gender identity in electronic health records.

“Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these healthcare facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement,” David continued. “We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”