D.C. Area Hospitals Called Out on Policies for Gays

By Arlene Borenstein
|  Tuesday, Jun 8, 2010  |  Updated 9:31 PM EDT
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D.C. Area Hospitals Called Out on Policies for Gays

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One of America's most prominent human rights organizations said Washington, D.C., scores low in hospitals that follow nondiscrimination policies for gays.

The Human Rights Campaign released their 2010 Healthcare Equality index today. The reports shows that eight of 17 local hospitals do not clearly include a reference to sexual orientation or gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

The report comes after President Barack Obama's announcement in April directing his administration to require all hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding to protect the visitation and healthcare decision-making rights of LGBT patients, according to the HRC website. Almost all hospitals in the United States receive Medicare and Medicaid money.

The Washington City Paper has a list of the area hospitals that either left out "gender identity" or "sexual orientation" in their nondiscrimination policies. Sibley Memorial, Reston Hospital Center and Doctors Community Hospital in Prince George's County are included on that list.

The HRC report also independently reviewed a sample of 200 of the nation's largest healthcare facilities. Ninety-three percent did not have policies toward LGBT patients. Even hospitals in historically LGBT friendly cities like San Francisco and New York reportedly fell short of full protection for gays.

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