The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization recently released its 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting a decade of progress in
LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2017 HEI survey, committing to LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. Of facilities surveyed for the HEI, the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy CHC) was named one of the 303 that earned HRC’s coveted “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. This is the third year in a row that Kennedy CHC has received this distinction.
“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing
the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”
The 10th edition of the HEI includes new criteria that raises the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s
“Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time, HEI participants are awarded numerical scores for their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four areas; LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, fully-inclusive employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Participants receiving the maximum score in each section, for a total score of 100, earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”
In the 2017 report, an impressive 303 facilities — 51 percent of those actively participating in the survey — met this year’s more challenging criteria to earn the Leader designation. Another 144 facilities earned a “Top Performer” designation for scoring between 80 and 95 points. With three quarters of
actively-participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, it is clear that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics in adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
In addition to the positive scoring criteria, the 2017 HEI includes a fifth section focusing on responsible citizenship, and calling out activity that would undermine LGBTQ equality or inclusive patient care. Healthcare facilities may have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public
anti-LGBTQ blemish on their recent records. This year, Johns Hopkins Hospital became the first and only facility to receive this deduction.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is education arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.