OAKLAND, Calif., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente is the first health and hospital system to earn a perfect 100 percent rating on the Healthcare Equality Index. The HEI is an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
Kaiser Permanente's Patients' Bill of Rights fully protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and their families from discrimination. Updates that took effect June 7 in Kaiser Permanente's 36 hospitals make Kaiser Permanente the first health and hospital system to have a fully inclusive, non-discrimination policy for LGBT patients. Kaiser Permanente also is the first health and hospital system to achieve top performer status in the HEI.
"Kaiser Permanente is deeply committed to providing equitable, compassionate and high-quality care to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families, a level of care that is standard across our diverse patient population," said George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente. "In the Healthcare Equality Index report, we are proud to be able to highlight our commitment to these high standards of care, as well as our efforts to promote a supportive work environment for all our employees."
In April, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum asking states to update their Patients' Bill of Rights to ensure patients receive compassionate care and equal treatment during hospital stays. By respecting the rights of hospital patients to receive visitors and to designate surrogate decision makers for medical emergencies, Kaiser Permanente is taking steps to implement the memorandum issued by the White House, which is reflected in our perfect 100 percent score on the HEI.
The index focuses on key policies and practices that ensure culturally competent health care for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and families. These policies address patient non-discrimination, visitation rights, decision-making practices, and employee benefits and non-discrimination.
"LGBT patients and their families deserve nothing less than a full measure of equality when they enter any healthcare setting," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "As the largest network of health providers to achieve a perfect rating on the Healthcare Equality Index, Kaiser Permanente is leading the industry towards a day in which LGBT patients can receive equal care in every hospital in America. HRC is proud to have worked with Kaiser Permanente to institute these much-needed policies."
This is not the first honor Kaiser Permanente has received from the Human Rights Campaign. Since 2008, Kaiser Permanente has participated in the HEI and has consistently moved up in the rankings, resulting in a perfect score for 2010. Additionally, for the past five years, Kaiser Permanente has received a 100 percent ranking on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Corporate Equality Index for our commitment to creating policies on diversity and inclusion, and providing training and benefits to create a fair and equal workplace.
For more information on the Healthcare Equality Index 2010, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.
About The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. 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.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.