In April, President Obama issued a memorandum requiring hospitals to guarantee visitation rights for same-sex partners. Interestingly, a new Human Rights Campaign Foundation report (Healthcare Equity Index 2010) indicates that 93 percent of the 178 hospitals it surveyed did not have comprehensive nondiscrimination policies in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients. Forty-two percent did not address sexual orientation in patient bills of rights. Kaiser Permanente was the largest hospital system to receive a perfect score on LGBT criteria.
The article notes that policy compliance numbers will change pretty fast once the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, includes nondiscrimination policies in its accreditation requirements.
A commenter notes that military hospitals are often Joint Commission approved, and wonders what effect this policy change will have on them.June 7, 2010