Top Hospitals for LGBT Health

But where's Philly on the list?

Ever wonder which hospitals are tops when it comes to LGBT care? Well, 14 of the nation’s top 17 hospitals listed in the U.S. News & World Report “2012 Best Hospitals Edition,” participated in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2011 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The complete list, on newsstands today, can be viewed by clicking here. And the 2011 HEI is also available online.

Only problem is none of Philly’s hospitals are included on the list, which is issued annually by U.S. News and World Report, says HRC, and is based on data from nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties and 10 pediatric specialties. The list includes:

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York
  • UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, CA

Joe Solmonese (courtesy of HRC)

“This year’s U.S. News & World Report’s best hospital ratings demonstrate once again that providing quality healthcare goes hand-in-hand with healthcare free of prejudice and discrimination of any kind,” says HRC President Joe Solmonese in a press statement. “We congratulate these 14 top hospitals on this honor, and appreciate their dedication to healthcare equality for LGBT patients and families demonstrated by participating in the HEI.”

As facilities transition to more LGBT-friendly policies and procedures (this year the Obama Administration redefined visitation for same-sex couples, even in states that do not allow gay marriage) the HEI assists hospitals in modifying their policies, and can help hospitals comply with Joint Commission standards addressing non-discrimination, and new HHS regulations on visitation. The HEI 2011 reported on the voluntary participation of a record 87 survey respondents, representing 375 facilities nationwide.

For LGBT patients, fair treatment is a big concern, especially when reports surface of doctors and hospitals refusing to treat patients, as was reported a few years ago in The Advocate. And for a patient, not feeling comfortable enough to come out can mean the difference between effective, preventative treatment and higher risk health concerns that may be overlooked.

“It’s not a coincidence that our medical center consistently is ranked among the nation’s top hospitals by both the Healthcare Equality Index and U.S. News & World Report,” says Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center. “Providing equal treatment to all patients is central to delivering the highest quality, safest and most effective health care.”

In Philly, though it wasn’t listed, the Mazzoni Center is one of the largest medical facilities in the nation dedicated to LGBT healthcare. In addition to providing customized services for the community, the center offers sliding scale payment for those without health insurance.

Are you out to your doctor? Have you ever encountered anti-gay bias in a hospital? Please share your story.