LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights
At the 2011 National Coalition for LGBT Health Meeting, LGBT HealthLink’s Director, Dr. Scout, concluded a presentation by suggesting our communities really needed to create a healthcare bill of rights. The response from the experts in attendance was overwhelming; dozens of experts chimed in to concur. In the years since, our healthcare rights have only expanded yet public understanding about those rights – which is critical to their effectiveness – has not kept pace. For example, very few people know that any hospital accredited by the Joint Commission must now have an LGBT nondiscrimination policy. Or that health insurers in the new marketplaces cannot discriminate either. Making this problem worse, even healthcare institutions are not fully educated about these changes. Most hospitals that were approached by PROMO, the LGBT equality organization for Missouri, could show no evidence of having an LGBT nondiscrimination policy in place. We have many new rights, and now more than ever we need to understand what they are to get the healthcare we deserve.
In 2014, LGBT HealthLink partnered with PROMO Missouri and lawyer Corey Prachniak from Washington DC to create a short document summarizing our rights in the healthcare world now. In 2015, we launched a website with this document and much more information and assistance around this important issue.