Hospital protections for transgender patients

    A review of the largest health systems in the Philadelphia region find that none of them have explicit anti-discrimination policies protecting transgender patients.

    A survey of 200 health systems across the country finds just a few of them have official policies protecting transgender patients from discrimination. And none of those hospitals is in the Philadelphia region.

    Hospitals usually have policies that prohibit discrimination against people for their race, religion or gender. But transgender patients — those who disagree with the gender listed on their birth certificate — rarely have explicit and comprehensive protections. That’s according to the Human Rights Campaign’s recent survey of health systems. Tom Sullivan led the study.

    Sullivan: Those things are of concern because transgender people experience some of the worst discrimination in healthcare settings.

    Simmins: It’s everything from first responders, EMT discrimination, Comments, refusing care, handling people roughly, to the macro level of insurance companies denying coverage for people who identify as being transgender.

    Holiday Simmins is a community educator with Lamba Legal, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender support organization. She says the health of transgender people may suffer when they are blocked from access to care. The national commission that accredits hospitals has proposed requiring anti-discrimination language.

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