UCSF Medical Center Earns Perfect Score For Health Care Equality

July 11, 2013

Hospital Receives Highest Rating on National LGBT Survey for Sixth Consecutive Year

UCSF Medical Center today became the only institution in the United States to have received a perfect score on the national LGBT Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for six consecutive years.

The HEI annually invites health care facilities nationwide to complete a survey  describing how they provide equitable, inclusive care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families.

Based on this information, UCSF Medical Center was one of a select group of 212 respondents, representing 464 health care facilities nationwide, to be named "Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality." Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria for equitable care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members. 

HEI participation skyrocketed in 2013, for the first time encompassing facilities in all 50 states and most U.S. veterans' hospitals. The total number of health care facilities rated in the HEI surged this year to 718, up from 407 in 2012.

Unique among U.S. health care facilities, UCSF Medical Center has met – in fact, exceeded – all of these criteria since the HEI was created in 2007 by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. The medical center also received a perfect score in the first "beta test" of the HEI seven years ago.

"Delivering safe, quality treatment to each and every patient is our responsibility as health care providers. To achieve that, it is essential that hospitals create an environment in which all patients feel safe to openly discuss their health care issues," said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. "As an academic medical center, we also play an important role in training clinicians to deliver knowledgeable, sensitive care to LGBT patients and their families."

UCSF's LGBT-inclusive policies, practices and training long predate the HEI.

In 2004, UCSF Medical Center implemented a groundbreaking Inclusive Language Policy that is featured in the prestigious Health Care Innovations Exchange of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. UCSF Medical Center also has long provided equal visitation rights for patients' same-sex partners.

"It is an honor to be part of a system that is committed to diversity and LGBT issues in health care, as evident by the medical center's top ranking for the past six years. Our medical center will continue to work hard in raising the bar and maintaining our status as a leader, nationwide. With the recent Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8, there is definitely a lot to celebrate here at UCSF, "said Larry Lariosa, diversity program manager at UCSF's Office of Diversity and Outreach.

UCSF Medical Center was congratulated by HRC Health & Aging Director Shane Snowdon.

"LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. It makes a big difference to know that your local health care facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers," she said. Snowdon recently served as director of UCSF's Center for LGBT Health and Equity, and worked with the UCSF Medical Center since 1999 to ensure that UCSF provides the best possible care to LGBT patients and their families.

UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top hospitals in the United States. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco. The medical center's nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health and cancer.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.