Group says needs of LGBT patients not being met

A civil rights group representing lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients has concluded that while progress is being made, the healthcare industry as a whole isn't address this community's needs.

Working in cooperation with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has come out with its third annual report looking at how LGBT Americans are treated in healthcare facilities. 

The report, which is based on a survey of 166 facilities, concludes that while three-quarters of facilities studied have non-discrimination policies touching on sexual orientation, less than 7 percent offer protections protect patients based on gender identity. Researchers say this is symptomatic of discrimination transgender individuals face in everyday life.

As part of its study, the Human Rights Campaign has developed a Healthcare Equality Index, a set of best practices that healthcare facilities should follow to assure equal treatment of LGBT patients.

These include establishing visitation policies that explicitly include LGBT community members; policies honoring advanced healthcare directives created by LGBT individuals; cultural competency training addressing issues relevant to the LGBT community; and employment non-discrimination policies including both sexual and gender orientation.

To learn more about these issues:
- read this press release

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