UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Recently Recognized as a Recipient for Equal Care for LGBT Patients
July 11, 2013
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is one of many medical centers committed to equality for lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients. According to a report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, a record total of 718 healthcare facilities nationwide, have explicitly pledged themselves to equal treatment for LGBT patients.
"The country's healthcare facilities are leading figures in our nation's movement toward full equality and inclusion for LGBT Americans," said HRC President Chad Griffin.
The report details the results of the most recent Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is one of 718 facilities included in the HEI 2013, which represents a 153 percent increase in participation over last year's survey. An unprecedented 74 percent of HEI 2013 respondents won recognition as "Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality" after meeting four additional criteria for equitable LGBT care, a 199 percent increase in facilities achieving this status. UnityPoint Health - Des Moines being one of the recipients.
The HEI helps hospitals assess themselves against established best practices and ensures that they are complying with legal, regulatory and accreditation requirements for LGBT non-discrimination. The HEI 2013 participants were congratulated for their explicit commitment to non-discrimination by Leon Rodrigues, Director of the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
"The Obama administration and our department are deeply concerned about equality for all Americans," said Rodriguez. "It is gratifying to see so many healthcare facilities commit themselves to the goal of equitable, unbiased care for all."
Ninety-three percent of HEI 2013 participants explicitly prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients, and a record 87 percent ban discrimination against transgendered patients. Additionally, 90 percent of respondents explicitly grant 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 LGPT people.
The HEI 2013 required participating facilities to document that employees in key work areas had received expert training in LGBT health needs. As a result, nearly 5,000 healthcare personnel nationwide, including senior administrators, participated in training provided through the HEI, a unique educational initiative.
Studies, including a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, have repeatedly show that the LGBT community faces health disparities and healthcare discrimination and that many LGBT Americans are concerned about experiencing bias in healthcare. But as the HEI 2013 indicated, healthcare facilities are seeking to assure them that they will receive equal treatment.
"No one should have to worry about receiving discriminatory healthcare," added Griffin. "We're very pleased to offer hospitals and clinics a comprehensive resource for equitable care, and we celebrate all of those who used the HEI 2013 to welcome LGBT patients, employees and families."
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is proud is be a part of the pledge for unbiased treatment of LGBT patients.
To view the HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index 2013 visit www.hrc.org/hei
The HEI is funded in part by grants from Pfizer Inc. and PhRMA.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender quality. 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.