New List Ranks Hospitals for LGBT Policies
The Human Rights Campaign published a list today, which honors hospitals for LGBT healthcare equality. It was compiled through a survey that fielded responses from representatives of 375 facilities nationwide. The list is a companion to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals list, which landed on newsstands today and was published online in July. The US News list gave national honors to UPenn and CHOP, and regional recognition to 19 other Philly-area facilities.
Fourteen of the US News top hospitals also appeared on the HRC list. They include facilities in Nashville; Boston; St. Louis; and Ann Arbor, MI, of all places—but none in the Philadelphia area.
The HRC survey sheds light on an issue I’ve never considered: the rights of LGBT couples when it comes to hospital policies, including visitation and anti-discrimination policies. The survey found that nearly 90 percent of respondents include sexual orientation in their Patient’s Bill of Rights or nondiscrimination policies, but only about half have an explicitly inclusive visitation policy for same-sex couples.
The survey comes on the heels of a White House order earlier this year requiring all hospitals that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding—nearly every hospital in the country—to protect visitation rights for LGBT couples. Clearly, there’s still a long way to go.
But my question for Philly is: What gives? Perhaps Philadelphia hospitals simply didn’t participate in the survey, so that could explain our lack of representation on the list. But I’m wondering if any LGBT couples in the Philly area have run into issues at local hospitals. Or maybe the issue’s overblown all together?
Please share in the comments. And by all means if any reps from local hospitals are reading, feel free to weigh in.