OAKLAND, Calif., June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 19, Kaiser Permanente was recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in the Healthcare Equality Index 2012 report, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization. Kaiser Permanente earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face challenges in accessing adequate healthcare.
Ronald Copeland, MD, FACS, Chair, National Diversity Council and president and executive medical director, Ohio Permanente Medical Group, stated, "This recognition from the HRC is a testament to Kaiser Permanente's long-standing commitment to achieving health equity for all our members and is aligned with our emerging LGBT health-equity work sponsored by the National Diversity Council."
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation developed the Healthcare Equality Index to meet a deep and urgent need on the part of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans: the need for equitable, knowledgeable, sensitive and welcoming healthcare, free from discrimination based on LGBT status.
The Healthcare Equality Index 2012 included a survey which asked health care organizations 24 questions about best practices in LGBT patient-centered care. A subset of these questions focused on the "Core Four" policies and practices considered essential for equitable and inclusive LGBT care. These include foundational policies ensuring that LGBT patients and their families are welcomed and provided with care free of discrimination. Additionally, staff training is required to bring these policies to life and ensure compliance. Facilities that had all of these "Core Four" policies and practices in place were recognized as HEI 2012 Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality.
Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente said, "Achieving leadership status in LGBT health care equality exemplifies Kaiser Permanente's vision and commitment to total health for all our members. To achieve leadership status in LGBT health care equality, three consecutive times, speaks to Kaiser Permanente's commitment to address health care disparities in LGBT communities and achieve health equity for our members."
Kaiser Permanente was one of a select group of 234 healthcare facilities out of 407 rated facilities nationwide to be named Leaders in Healthcare Equality. Kaiser Permanente was congratulated by HRC Family Project Director Ellen Kahn. "LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. It makes a big difference to know that your local health care facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers."
Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, stated, "This recognition is acknowledgment that Kaiser Permanente meets key indicators for equitable care for our LGBT members, including nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff. We are very proud of this honor from the HRC."
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2012, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.
For more information about Kaiser Permanente Patients' Bill of Rights for the 37 hospitals in California, Oregon and Hawaii, visit:
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve over 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter
For more information:
Keith Paulsen, email: [email protected], tel: (510) 625-5667
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente