The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association have teamed up to offer a rating system for hospitals similar to HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, which grades corporations based on their gay and lesbian policies.
According to the AP, “Policies addressed in the ratings include patient nondiscrimination, visitation and decision-making rights for partners, staff diversity training and nondiscriminatory employment practices.”
They report: “Some responses to the new survey came from hospital networks. Kaiser Permanente, answering on behalf of 31 hospitals in California and Hawaii, said all met the survey’s 10 criteria. They were among 45 hospitals in all with top marks. University Hospitals of Cleveland, representing 10 Ohio hospitals, said they fully met only two criteria — domestic partner benefits for employees and a patient nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation. The HRC and the medical association said their goal is to highlight hospitals with high rankings and induce others to abandon inequitable practices…The healthcare index includes recommendations for hospitals, starting with the forms filled out by patients. It recommends that ‘transgender’ be an option for gender and that relationship status include the term ‘partnered’ as well as ‘single,’ ‘married,’ ‘divorced’ and ‘widowed.’…The gay rights groups said the ratings are intended to create a best-practices standard that would counteract the patchwork nature of state laws and hospital policies affecting gays and lesbians.”